Today Google has announced a new initiative called Google Earth Outreach designed to help nonprofit organizations around the world leverage the power of Google Earth to illustrate and advocate for the important work that they do. The announcement was made at the New York City Google office by Elliot Schrage, Google Vice President for Global Communications & Public Affairs, and John Hanke, Director of Google Earth & Maps. The initial Outreach partners include: Jane Goodall, Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute; Kathy Bushkin Calvin, Executive Vice President, United Nations Foundation; and Edward Wilson, President and CEO, Earthwatch.
Google Earth Outreach enables any organization to quickly and easily get the resources it needs to create compelling stories through Google Earth layers. The program includes comprehensive online guides, video tutorials, and case studies about using Google Earth specifically targeted to the needs of nonprofit organizations. In addition, there are online forums connecting new participants to Global Awareness partners and experienced programmers who can assist in developing Keyhole Markup Language (KML) layers for Google Earth. These forums, actively moderated by Google Earth Outreach staff, serve to foster discussion and cooperation among organizations and the broader Google Earth community. More information is available from the new Google Earth Outreach web page.
Jane Goodall has already leveraged Google Earth for the Jane Goodall Institute’s pioneering geoblog called the Gombe Chimpanzee Blog. The blog documents the activities at the Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania, site of the longest-running field study of wild chimpanzee. Every post at the blog is geotagged and viewable through Google Earth – as well as other helpful information about the site. Google began highlighting the Chimpanzee layer as a “Featured Content” layer last fall. Being featured in this way draws a lot of attention because of the huge world-wide audience available with over 200 million people having installed Google Earth. This kind of exposure helps any organization get more attention for their efforts.
[Read more…] about Introducing Google Earth Outreach – New Global Awareness Layers