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.
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!
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.
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)