Three years ago, Google brought us incredible Street View images of Brazil’s rainforests by placing their 360-degree image-capturing orb atop a boat and sailing it down the Amazon. Now, they have released another extraordinary tour of this ecologically vital area, which they captured by sending their cameras down ziplines! The project, which is conducted in partnership with Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), offers a breathtaking view as you travel from the rainforest’s canopy, down to the forest floor.
The canopy of the Amazon rainforest is a deeply fascinating environment. As Google explains, “Home to millions of plant, animal and insect species, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Undiscovered species thrive in the canopies of the primary forests, atop trees that have stood for centuries.” Now, through the work of Google and FAS, we can have an up-close view of this dense canopy with miles of hanging vines and countless unknown creatures.
Capturing images of these remote and highly sensitive areas presented its own challenges. Speaking to Mashable, Karin Tuxen-Bettman, program manger for Google Earth, explained, “The big challenge was finding where to put the zipline… This wasn’t an eco-tourism location where they had these sites already chosen and set up. [FAS staff] brought all their equipment by boat to the location and hiked several kilometers in to find this tree.”
The ongoing partnership with FAS is part of Google’s Trekker program, which invites universities, non-profits and other third party organizations to help Google capture hard-to-reach corners of the world. This program has also brought us breathtaking Google Street View tours of the Great Barrier Reef and of the islands, mountains and valleys of Japan.