Saving Elephants with Google Earth

Google Earth Outreach is an amazing organization that helps nonprofits visualize their cause and help tell their story in Google Earth and Google Maps. We’ve shown you many examples of these organizations over the years (some of which are listed in our recent post about Rebecca Moore).
Similar to the issues that Kenya faced in the 1970s and 80s, elephant poaching is once again becoming big business. Save The Elephants is an organization out of Samburu, Kenya that is using Google Earth to help track and protect these elephants. In short:

Within Samburu — and other places in Africa — we provide a tracking system which uses GPS radio collars to monitor the movements of elephants in near real time. Using Google Earth and our new, lightweight mobile apps, our team can be deeply knowledgeable about the Samburu elephants, and share data with the guardians to come to their aid if needed. Alerts tell us when unusual conditions occur. The most serious alert concerns immobility. This too often means another poaching incident, and another elephant’s life lost to runaway demand for ivory.

While the issues that they’re directly fighting are in Kenya, the problem exists across much of Africa. To help with that, they’ve released the Elephants in Peril site, which uses Fusion Tables and the Google Maps Engine to help compile data and search for trends.


They’re facing quite a battle in stopping these poachers, but the products they’re using combine to form a powerful weapon against them. Learn more in this post on the Google Lat Long Blog.

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. Look. I am serious here and not trying to cause trouble.
    I want to know why Google doesn’t update their street view like they were back in the beginning rolling out updates every few weeks.
    Does anybody remember when Google first started doing 2 to 4 cities at a time then expanded to a dozen *including suburbs of previous cities?*
    Is it the economy effecting Google because I believe the economy didn’t crash yet when Google started snapping away.

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