Protecting uncontacted tribes in the Amazon rainforest with Google Earth

Scientists from the University of Missouri and the University of New Mexico have been using Google Earth imagery to track an uncontacted tribe in Amazon rainforest in Brazil. While Google Earth adds a level of convenience for the researchers, tracking the tribe from afar can be essential to their survival. From Mongabay.com:

Small populations like these risk imminent extinction due to various threats. But contacting these tribes may prove even more disastrous. Diseases commonplace in our society, like the common cold, can wipe out large portions of such tribes in a matter of days. Therefore, using satellite images to regularly and remotely survey their populations, and track their movements could prove a good non-invasive way of keeping a close eye on the tribes and protecting them from afar.

tribes

The researchers have had difficulty finding the tribe in more recent satellite imagery, possible due to the tribe’s movement to escape drug traffickers in the area, but they continue their search to regain information about their current location.

Be sure to check out the full article on the Mongabay website.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. Paul Lackey says:

    Unfortunately, the areas with the most uncontacted tribes are also among the least covered on Google Earth. Huge swaths of the Amazon, equatorial Africa, and New Guinea are covered only by 15m Landsat imagery. While most of the rest of the world has some kind of higher res imagery, Google shows no interest in adding coverage to these remote areas.

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