Google Photographs Amazon Rainforest

Sends camera down zip line

The 40-pound Google Trekker camera reached 62 mph on the zipline. (Google)
Photo: Google

Google’s quest to photograph the entire world took the company to the Amazon for a zip-lining adventure. The company recently sent one of its Street View cameras down a wire through the rainforest to catch 360-degree photos, according to the BBC.

The 40-pound Trekker camera, usually worn by a hiker with a backpack, has 15 lenses that take snapshots every 2.5 seconds. It traveled as fast as 62 mph on the zip line and captured more than 300 miles of rivers, lakes, and streams and 20 miles of trails, according to a statement from the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS). Google released the images on its Maps application.

The BBC reports that Google began photographing the Amazon in 2010 by putting 12 Trekkers on boats and sailing them up the Rio Aripuana and Rio Madera, two of the Amazon River’s main tributaries. The project is the result of a collaboration between Google and FAS.

Google spokesperson Laurian Clemence told the BBC that the goal is to give people the opportunity to see a place they may not get the chance to visit in person. “Most people won’t go to a rainforest in their lifetimes,” Clemence said. “We also hope environmentalists will use it as a tool to go and see what’s there.”

“The rest of Brazil and the world need to know the value of the forest and those who live in it,” Virgilio Viana, superintendent general of FAS, said in the statement.

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