Google Earth has a fascinating feature that many people don’t even know about called Voyager. Voyager consists of a variety of “stories” that are hand-curated by Google and take the visitor on a journey through time and place. They live on Google Earth and the best ones incorporate Google Street View to really bring you inside the experience, giving you a feeling of actually being there in that very moment – at that very spot.
The best of these showcase the wonders of our living world, past and present. They teach us things we have never known and take us to the farthest reaches we have only dreamed of, whether it be the Taj Mahal or the epic vistas of Earth from the orbit of space.
One of my favorites is “Goodall, Goombe and Google“, which is a beautiful story about Jane Goodall and some of the chimpanzees (including one named Google) living in the Goombe mountains. Like any good story, it moves the mind, touches the heart and educates just enough to be impactful and inspiring.
This one is specifically adept at this by incorporating poignant video, beautiful imagery, Street View powered trails just brimming with the chimpanzees being written about as well as a Voyager feature allowing for location overlays to Earth that in this case, show animal and tribal boundaries that affect the future of their survival.
In essence, in the way the story is weaved, you can follow the exact trails Jane blazed when she began her legendary career. Almost directly following in her footsteps through the mountain passages she took, seeing what she saw without leaving the comfort of your sofa. It’s awe-inspiring to contemplate.
What does this mean for conservation?
It means we can study environmental changes through time of human influence, weather, natural disasters, wars, overpopulation, and all the other factors that take a toll on the environment. It means that just maybe we can even learn how to stop some of the things that are destroying our incredible Earth.
Take a look at this other conservation-focused Google Voyager story about “Saving the Kordofan Giraffe” created by National Geographic. This tells the tale of explorer Naftali Honig’s usage of Google Maps and other tools to help save endangered animals from poaching and other threats. Street View is helping conservationists see changes in habitat, environment, and even historic areas throughout the world.
It’s truly something that can impact not just us, but generations to come. Even more impactful, it’s something you can actually help with yourself during your travels with your own 360 camera.
This is the second in a Google Street View series.