In its quest to take over the world in the friendliest way possible, Google has begun working with the Sustainable Amazon Foundation (FAS) to promote awareness of one of the world’s most important ecosystems by mapping the byways of the Amazon River and the few roads in the area for Google Street View. The project has even enlisted the help of local residents to pedal Google’s camera trikes through the region to give the rest of the world a closeup view of life in the Amazon.

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“Once all the images are uploaded to the Internet, we can share the local culture and beauty of the Amazon with anyone, anywhere in the world. Without the vision, creativity and dedication of our partners, this endeavor would not be possible,” Street View in the Amazon team leader Karin Tuxen-Bettman said in a released statement. Google has already introduced us to another hard-to-reach area of the planet: Antarctica. We can’t wait to couch surf our way through the rainforest, and any other beautiful and rare places Google takes us next. But while those of us who live in less exotic places can click our way across the planet without even putting on a pair of pants, those of you who live in, say, Madagascar, had better go get prettied up for the Google vans.

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Via TreeHugger

Photos courtesy of markg6, Flickr, and the Smithsonian Institute