President Bush spoke this morning after touring the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC about the new layer in Google Earth called Crisis in Darfur (found under the Global Awareness layer). President Bush praised the effort for helping make millions of people on the Internet aware of the issue of human atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan. He also commented on the US efforts to increase UN peacekeeping efforts in the area and information about the sad state of conditions in the Darfur region. Here’s what he said (from his speech) about the Google Earth layer:
I also saw an interesting new venture that you’ve arranged with Google Earth. As a result of this partnership, millions of Internet users around the world will be able to zoom in and see satellite images of the burnt-out villages and mosques and schools. No one who sees these pictures can doubt that genocide is the only word for what is happening in Darfur — and that we have a moral obligation to stop it.
It’s not every day a Google application, and specifically a layer in Google Earth, gets mentioned by the President. So, I thought this was worthy of a post! The layer is certainly worthy of praise, and we can only hope other heads of state take note – and take action – about the Darfur crisis.
By the way, Declan Butler of Nature Magazine has published an article which tells the story behind the Crisis in Darfur layer.