23 Mar 2012:
Google Street View Offers Virtual Tour of Amazon Basin
Google this week expanded its popular Street View feature to the forests of the Amazon basin, posting more than 50,000 photos that allow online users a virtual tour of the world’s largest tropical region. The photos, taken last summer in the Rio Negro Reserve, provide a panoramic view of tropical forest trails and village pathways — and a “virtual board ride” down the Rio Negro. Like many areas of the Amazon, the Rio Negro Reserve is under strict government control and has restricted access to the public, Amazon project leader Karin Tuxen-Bettman wrote on the Google blog. “We’re thrilled to help everyone from researchers and scientists to armchair explorers around the world learn more about the Amazon, and better understand how local communities there are working to preserve this unique environment for future generations,” she wrote. The project is part of a Google partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation. Watch a video
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
The Warriors of Qiugang, a Yale Environment 360 video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.