Google Street View now explores the Amazon


The Google Street View team has certainly done their part in mapping around major portions of the streets around the world, and there has been some pretty zany images to look at in the past. Having said that, I am just waiting for Google’s Street View team to head off into space, although getting their orientations right might take some time. Well, this time around, they have not traveled that far – at least not into the outer reaches of space, but rather, a handful of members of the Brazil and U.S. Street View and Google Earth Outreach teams were invited to the Amazon Basin in order to collect ground-level images of the rivers, forest and communities that are located in the Rio Negro Reserve.

I could have sworn that I saw an Angry Bird in some parts of the rainforest featured, but then again, it might have just been my overactive imagination. World Forest Day has come and past, hence the images captured have been uploaded and are now available to the masses via the Street View feature on Google Maps. No longer do you need to book a flight to South America if you want to check out the natural beauty and diversity of the Amazon with your own eyes. Hey, it is better than nothing, right?

You are able to take a virtual boat ride down the main section of the Rio Negro, or choose to float up into the smaller tributaries where the forest is flooded, without having to slap on an entire tube of mosquito repellent. How about strolling along the paths of Tumbira, the largest community in the Reserve? Not only that, you are able to visit some of the other communities who have invited the Google Street View team into recording their lives and cultures.

This project would have been impossible if it were not for the partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), which is actually a local nonprofit conservation organization. The Street View trike was good to go even in such challenging environments, while the tripod camera with a fisheye lens saw action, capturing the beauty of the natural landscape and the local communities. Over 50,000 still photos were stitched together as a result of this mammoth effort, resulting in immersive, 360-degree panoramic views.

Since many areas of the Amazon such as the Rio Negro Reserve remain under the protection of the Brazilian government, with the public having restricted access, so this might be the closest you will ever get to the rainforest in real life, in that part of the world.


One review or comment

John Says: March 26, 2012 at 5:30 am

Google street is really a Wow! feature for me. Navigating online through the streets is just awesome.

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