We were pretty excited when we found out last year than Google was working in the Amazon to create a Street View map of the ecologically vital rainforest. To coincide with World Forest Day, they’ve just released the finished product – and it’s pretty extraordinary! Allowing anyone to “experience the beauty and diversity of the Amazon,” the photographic maps were assembled from over 50,000 still images. The images were collected with Google’s distinctive 360 degree camera-orb placed atop canoes and their and eco-friendly Google Street View Trike, as demonstrated in this fabulous video.
The Street View — or in instances, perhaps River View — provides unprecedented access to areas of the Amazon which are under the protection of the Brazilian government, which few people are ever able to personally experience. Google’s Street View and Earth Outreach teams collaborated with the Sustainable Amazon Foundation (FAS) to create the visual map of the extraordinary, ecologically vulnerable rainforest.
Announcing the project’s completion on their blog, Google informs us that we can now “Take a virtual boat ride down the main section of the Rio Negro, and float up into the smaller tributaries where the forest is flooded. Stroll along the paths of Tumbira, the largest community in the reserve, or visit some of the other communities who invited us to share their lives and cultures.”
Google’s Amazon Street View is part of a growing collection of extraordinary photographic mapping projects from the Internet behemoth. Just last month they unveiled their ‘Street View’ of the Great Barrier Reef, and last year they dispatched nine of their camera-equipped cars to document the devastation in Japan caused by the earthquake and resulting tsunami and nuclear disaster.
Lead Image © Google Street View, all other Images Screen Captured from Video Tour the Amazon With Google Street View