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Google's Amazon River Street View Project 45

Posted by samzenpus
from the turn-right-at-the-capybara dept.
Thanks to Google and the Foundation for a Sustainable Amazon (FAS), your days of paddling up and down the Amazon basin looking for a fishing camp are over. Google is expanding its Street View service to cover a 30-mile section of the Rio Negro River tributary from Manaus to Terra Preta. FAS project leader Gabriel Ribenboim said, "It is very important to show the world not only the environment and the way of life of the traditional population, but to sensitize the world to the challenges of climate change, deforestation and combating poverty."
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Google's Amazon River Street View Project

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  • This means the Google is entering deeper and deeper into Amazon.

  • I look forward to the day when the floating googlemobiles have been all round the canal system of England and I can work my way up Foxton staircase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxton_Locks) without leaving my desk.
    • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

      I was actually a little bit surprised that they haven't done Street View of Venice's canals.

    • by plover (150551) *

      I'd kind of like to see the backwaters of Kerala done in street view. There are lots of photos individual people have uploaded to Panoramio, but the street view interface is really nice for navigation between pictures.

  • by mbone (558574) on Monday August 22, 2011 @11:45AM (#37168022)

    30 miles down, 30,000+ miles to go. (The Amazon is 4000 miles long, but is divided into many tributaries, the total length of all the tributaries is probably a lot longer than that, but I think that is a safe lower bound.)

  • Interview with the Googler driving the Amazon River View boat:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0cCRRFi1aA [youtube.com]

  • by moonbender (547943) <moonbender@gmai l . com> on Monday August 22, 2011 @12:06PM (#37168214)

    In a somewhat similar vein, in 2010, Google published the look out of the window of the Trans Siberian Railway: http://www.google.ru/intl/ru/landing/transsib/en.html [google.ru]

  • How can an 'Uncontacted' Amazon tribe post their take down notice?
    "You can see right into my hut from the river" said one.
    "This is an invasion of our privacy and youve also taken my soul with youre evil box of tricks. You said do no evil! but you have." said another.
    These peoples remain 'uncontacted' due to their poor punctuation and grammar.
    • by dafradu (868234)
      There is no uncontacted tribe living close to a major tributary of the river. You'd have to hike for days, maybe weeks to find an indian in Brazil that has had little contact with the "white man".
      • Ah, what you've done there is missed the bit about the 'Uncontacted' tribe being able to speak English and moan about privacy and being able to see into a Hut.
    • How can an 'Uncontacted' Amazon tribe post their take down notice?

      Using something pointy? I don't think they'll post a notice so much as take down the boat.

  • Google's leaving the door open for indigenous lawyers to sue over certain concerns:

    Indigenous Lawyer: Witchdoctor N'(click)'toba, what happened to you after the Google boat photographed you?

    Witchdoctor N'(click)'toba: Well, I was in the middle of a particularly difficult fertility spell when the boat came by and stole my soul. The spell failed and the sacrifice was rejected by our gods.

    Indigenous Lawyer: Can you identify your soul in this courtroom?

    Witchdoctor N'(click)'toba: Yes, it's in the third camera f

  • OK, time to burn some karma...

    I lived in Brazil for 5 years, and the Brazilians I talked to didn't consider deforestation to be a problem. In fact, the story I'd consistently hear from them is that much of the deforestation is to support grazing for cattle, and that the same acres end up burned year after year because the forest takes back the grasslands as fast as it's burned. They perceive the Amazon as being largely uninhabitable and untameable, taking back roads and farms faster than they can be built

    • Maybe, the Brazilians you talked to didn't know what they were talking about, and the regrowth isn't at all the same as virgin rainforest?

      Laurance fears that Wright is downplaying the destruction of virgin rainforest. "The conditions in the small country of Panama cannot be generalized. In the Amazon, cattle ranchers and the agricultural industry are destroying the jungle on a large scale. The undergrowth that thrives in cleared areas is a caricature of a forest."

      ...

      The Sao Paulo agronomist is studying secondary vegetation throughout the entire Brazilian Amazon region. Using satellite images, he selected 26 locations that were cleared years ago and eventually became overgrown with new vegetation. Then he spent two months driving from one location to the next. His conclusion? "Twenty percent of the deforested areas are recovering."

      Nevertheless, Almeida is not issuing a general all-clear signal for the rainforest. "Within no more than five years, most of the secondary forests will be burned down or cut down again," he says. Cattle ranchers use the fallow fields as pasture, while farmers plant soybeans or cereal crops.

      Once the virgin rainforest is cut down, it might not be tracked any longer as virgin rainforest, even if it grows back. However, most of what grows back is being burnt again every few years. Meanwhile, other people (i.e. not the ones you talked to) are burning additional virgin forest, resulting in a huge net loss.

      • by Zinho (17895)

        Maybe, the Brazilians you talked to didn't know what they were talking about, and the regrowth isn't at all the same as virgin rainforest?

        The undergrowth that thrives in cleared areas is a caricature of a forest." ... "Twenty percent of the deforested areas are recovering."

        Nevertheless, Almeida is not issuing a general all-clear signal for the rainforest. "Within no more than five years, most of the secondary forests will be burned down or cut down again," he says. Cattle ranchers use the fallow fields as pasture, while farmers plant soybeans or cereal crops.

        Once the virgin rainforest is cut down, it might not be tracked any longer as virgin rainforest, even if it grows back. However, most of what grows back is being burnt again every few years. Meanwhile, other people (i.e. not the ones you talked to) are burning additional virgin forest, resulting in a huge net loss.

        I think, perhaps, they did. If I'm reading your pasted quote properly, the ecologist speaking (Lawrence?) states that 20% of the cleared areas could be considered "forest" again by his standards. That's a total, debilitating loss for the rancher who wanted to use it for his cattle. Even the "caricature of a forest" Lawrence mentioned first is likely unusable for grazing. It may not be old-growth, virgin forest any longer, but Nature has certainly taken it back from Man. The only disparity I see between

        • The regrown land is in no way biologically diverse, and thus in now way represents a healthy rainforest. And even if 20% of what is burned in any given year has grown back within 10 years, that still means 80% of what is burned in any given year either never grows back, or grows back and is burned again and again.

          The Amazon basin is so sacrosanct because without it we're not sure the planet will produce enough oxygen to sustain current levels of animal life. That's why it's more important than the Brazili

          • by Zinho (17895)

            The Amazon basin is so sacrosanct because without it we're not sure the planet will produce enough oxygen to sustain current levels of animal life. That's why it's more important than the Brazilian people.

            You frighten me. I'm trying to find a way to not interpret what you just said as a blatant priority of trees over Human life, but I'm failing. I hope you don't mean that you'd rather that a random Brazilian die of starvation in squalor than to have a single Amazonian tree chopped down; unfortunately, I've met too many militant environmentalists to rule that out.

            What's worse is that your justification is based on a misunderstanding of the oxygen cycle. I've been led to believe that old-growth forests are

    • by dafradu (868234)
      There is no way to the forest to recover as fast as men can destroy it. Check what just 2 tractors can do http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDK8qY0EKoo [youtube.com]
      • by Zinho (17895)

        Nice video. Run the caption through Google translate and you'll see that the person posting the video is the driver. He's making every effort to preserve the ecology around the road he's preparing land for, and diverting the road to protect endangered trees. He's not burning the cut land, either. In other words, he's doing it right, and for the right reasons: providing a route for transportation in the region and keeping Human needs balanced with conservation of Nature.

        Yes, it's a fast operation, but i

    • by praedictus (61731)
      Ive seen some pretty extensive deforestation going on in Pará, mostly spreading out from the Altamira-Santarem-Itaituba axis going south -as well as cattle the flat lands here are being cleared for soya production. The Xinguara-São Felix axis (and continuing on into the Terra do Meio on the other side - thats all very recent) would be cattle ranching. Also along the BR 163 further west and extending along the Trans-Garimpeiro. Btw the narrow red barren areas on the satellite maps are iron deposi
      • by Zinho (17895)

        Thanks, that was useful. It gives me somewhere specific to look. Do you by any chance know where I can look for older pictures of the area? I'd like to compare to current overhead photos.

  • When I lived in Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s I had a chance to fly into Manaus on an old USAF C-54 and share expenses on a fishing trip into the Amazon and Rio Negro. It was a high point of my life. The area was fascinating in its lush vegetation, vast wetlands, and river traffic. The people - and especially the children - were wonderful. Six of us on an old Chris Craft (type) cabin cruiser plus some local fishing guides with food and drink included for just a couple hundred bucks apiece. It sure beat tourin

  • I have come to the conclusion that this has nothing to do with Amazon.com
  • Isn't it also important to desensitize populations to privacy violation, still photo, and video observation?

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid

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