Google has partnered up with the Foundation for Sustainable Amazon to provide 360 views of the Amazon and Rio Negro Rivers, the goal being to document the lack of conservation and the loss of wildlife in the Amazon River Basin. The mapping should end up covering around 30 miles of the basin, including the roads that lead up to the river and the river itself. Forest areas that are getting destroyed every dayand that the outside world quite literally doesn't know existwill now be viewable online.
The geeky part of the project involves special river boats and "trikes," custom-designed adaptations on the cars that Google usually uses to map GPS-tagged images onto Google Maps. So after riding the trikes up and down the dirt roads of the basin, clicking thousands of pictures along the way, they'll mount the "vehicles" on boats and float with them down the river. The company is even training the local population so that the valuable work can continue even after Google's engineers have left.
A nice, conservation-themed change from the noise we usually hear about Google's Street View efforts.
[Photo: Google via CY.TALK]