Google Earth Launches Endangered Species Widget

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The folks at Google have done it again: This time, they've teamed with British naturalist Sir David Attenborough to showcase endangered species on Google Earth. The Google Earth Outreach program will enable users to scroll over icons that then reveal embedded layers; inside these embedded layers lie photos, video, and written and audio information about the endangered species that live near the particular waypoint. Users will also be provided with links to NGOs and other charitable organizations if they'd like to help.

The Google Earth Outreach endangered species program is powered by The ARKive Project, a collection of thousands of films and photographs of endangered species, and sponsored by the biodiversity charity Wildscreen.

"Having spent over 50 years working in natural history broadcasting, I know how important technological innovation is for reaching new audiences," Attenborough said. "Google Earth is a really powerful way for Wildscreen to show the vital work it's doing with the ARKive project.

"It is visual, easy to understand, and another important step in helping us appreciate that without care and conservation many of our amazing plants and animals may soon be lost forever."

The Google/Wildscreen team-up comes hot on the heels of an announced partnership between Google and UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, to show close-up views of some of the world's largest humanitarian crises, like refugee camps in Darfur. In addition to endangered species conservation, Google Earth users will soon be able to scroll over the world an learn about a host of humanitarian crises, including sanitation, water shortages, and worldwide refugee population.

To preview the ARKive's stunning images and video outside of Google Earth, go here. — Ted Alvarez

Google Earth To Highlight Endangered Species (Telegraph)