Exposing Shantytowns in India with Google Earth

Google Earth is amazing tool for business and for fun, but we’ve also seen it used to help spur social change a few times. Episode Four of the excellent Geospatial Revolution video series had a segment titled “Mapping Power to the People”, which discussed using geo technologies to help map previously ignored areas.
A similar situation is occurring in India, where Shelter Associates is using Google Earth to help map and identify slums across the city of Sangli in southwestern India.


Part of the work that Shelter Associates must do is convince residents to move to different areas of the town to help with the situation. Google Earth is a big part of that.

“Bringing up Google Earth on the screen, they make the Earth turn with a simple movement of the mouse, and zoom in on India, Maharashtra State and finally Sangli. The images show residents that their new house is located near the hospital, a school and a market.”

While there is a still a long road ahead in terms of getting the government to adequately fund these kinds of missions, it’s certainly a step in the right direction — and Google Earth is a big part of it.
Check out the full story on Time.com.

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.


  1. Leonardo Leidi says:

    I like exploring shantytowns in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Villa 31, 31 Bis, 1-11-14, 21-21, Ciudad Oculta, 19, etc)

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