Google Earth Helping Amazon Indians

Amazon Indians Using Google EarthA post at Google Lat-Long blog by Googler Rebecca Moore tells of a recent visit she had from the Chief of the Surui Indian tribe from the Brazilian Amazon jungles. The Amazon rain forests are rapidly disappearing due to logging and mining. The Surui people are doing everything they can to protect their lands. For the last year an organization called the Amazon Conservation Team has been helping train the Indians to use Google Earth and GPS units to map Surui villages, hunting grounds, sacred sites, and cultural sites as well as areas where they’ve found illegal mining and logging incursions onto their land (see GEB post from last year). This effort has helped their lands become properly registered with the Brazilian government which enables the government to do a better job to protect the lands from encroachment. I recently attended a presentation by Mark Plotkin of the Amazon Conservation Team at the ISDE5 conference where he describe the project in detail. It sounds like a wonderful project and the efforts appear to have had good results. Stopping rain forest destruction is an important step in preserving the future of our planet in my opinion.
UPDATE: Just saw this article from the International Herald Tribune on this subject.
The Google Earth team has supported a number of different projects to help raise awareness of environmental problems and human issues. See an excellent article summarizing several Google Earth awareness projects at Imaging Notes which was written by Rebecca Moore as well.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Robert Rocha says:

    It was a really nice job done by Mrs Rebecca Moore,If is possible I’d like to have her to contact me to talk about a project that I have about Globe Warming.

  2. apparently those indigenous folks from south america are not the only ones who use google earth to protect their natural environment; people in sunnyvale, california use google earth too!! – check out — click on the SUPERBIRDLAND! button…

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