Tag Archives: Brazil

Visit the Amazon on World Forest Day with Street View

Last August, a few members of our Brazil and U.S. Street View and Google Earth Outreach teams were invited to the Amazon Basin to collect ground-level images of the rivers, forest and communities in the Rio Negro Reserve. Today, on World Forest Day, we’re making those images available through the Street View feature on Google Maps. Now anyone can experience the beauty and diversity of the Amazon.

Tributary of the Rio Negro – View Larger Map

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. Enjoy a hike along an Amazon forest trail and see where Brazil nuts are harvested. You can even see a forest critter if you look hard enough!

Amazon Rainforest – View Larger Map

This project was made possible in partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), the local nonprofit conservation organization that invited us to the area. We used the Street View trike and a tripod camera with a fisheye lens—typically used to capture imagery of business interiors—to capture both the natural landscape and the local communities. In all, more than 50,000 still photos were stitched together to create these immersive, 360-degree panoramic views:

Many areas of the Amazon, including Rio Negro Reserve, are under the protection of the Brazilian government with restricted access to the public, so we hope that this Street View collection provides access to this special corner of the planet that many of us otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to experience. Together with FAS, we’re thrilled to help everyone from researchers and scientists to armchair explorers around the world learn more about the Amazon, and better understand how local communities there are working to preserve this unique environment for future generations.

To do this directly from maps you can go to Brazil map and drag Pegman to the Rio Negro River

Start exploring this portion of the Amazon and other collections around the world on the updated Street View site and gallery.

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)

Brazil’s Carnival goes social with Google

While you may have heard of Brazil’s Carnival (or Carnaval), not everyone will have the chance to fly to Brazil to experience what are arguably the largest annual street festivals (+ music concerts + dance parties + culture fests) in the world.

Every year, Brazilian cities compete to be the country’s top Carnival destination: This year, we’re bringing you the sights, sounds and energy of Brazilian Carnival directly from the streets of Salvador (Brazil’s first capital and one of the oldest cities in the the Americas) through Google+, YouTube and Orkut.

From February 16 to 21—the height of the festival and the peak of Brazil’s summer—you’ll be able to:

  • Watch the festivities wherever you are in the world on the Carnival YouTube Channel. Starting Thursday, February 16, you’ll have access to everything from a live transmission of the streetfest to videos of bands who have traveled to Salvador to host the party. You’ll even be able to chat with other YouTube users who are watching the party with you from around the world through a map we’ve integrated just for the occasion.
  • Chat with bands and watch live interviews on Google+. Chat with some of the Brazilian bands who have joined the festivities in real time by sending questions via Google+ and Orkut. You’ll also be able to watch celebrity interviews running live throughout the week on the AoVivo (live) Google+ Page and transmitted simultaneously on YouTube and Orkut.

Even if you didn’t have a chance to get a plane ticket to Brazil, there’s no reason not to experience the energy of this year’s 2012 Carnival. Find out more about how you can be part of the party on +AoVivo, Orkut or on our Carnival YouTube Channel.

(Cross-posted from the YouTube blog)

Street View goes to the Amazon

With Google Street View, you can do amazing things such as hike around Stonehenge or even ski down Whistler’s slopes—all without leaving home. Soon, you’ll be able to float down the Amazon and Rio Negro Rivers of northwest Brazil and experience some of the most remote and biodiverse areas in the world.
A few members of our Brazil and U.S. Street View and Google Earth Outreach teams are currently in the Amazon rainforest using our Street View technology to capture images of the river, surrounding forests and adjacent river communities. In partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), the local non-profit conservation organization that invited us to the area, we’re training some of FAS’s representatives on the imagery collection process and leaving some of our equipment behind for them to continue the work. By teaching locals how to operate these tools, they can continue sharing their points of view, culture and ways of life with audiences across the globe.

We’ll pedal the Street View trike along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and maneuver it up close to where civilization meets the rainforest. We’ll also mount it onto a boat to take photographs as the boat floats down the river. The tripod—which is the same system we use to capture imagery of business interiors—will also be used to give you a sense of what it’s like to live and work in places such as an Amazonian community center and school.

Image of the Tumbira community in the Rio Negro Sustainable Development Reserve

In this first phase of the project, the Google and FAS teams will visit and capture imagery from a 50km section of the Rio Negro River, extending from the Tumbira community near Manaus—the capital of the state of Amazonas—to the Terra Preta community. We’ll then process the imagery of the river and the communities as usual, stitching the still photos into 360-degree panoramics.

Image of the Tumbira Community

For many outdoor enthusiasts, travelers and environmentalists, this creates an opportunity to experience the wonders of the Amazon, which will be accessible in a way they’d previously only dreamed about. We’re honored to work with FAS on this project to bring the Amazon online for those who can’t visit in person, and help our partners share with the world the unique stories of its inhabitants and the beauty of this place they call home.


View Larger Map


Click the above album for more photos of our team’s work in the Amazon, and the communities with which they’re working.

Update 8/18/11: We’ve added a photo album to this post.