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Rio Negro

Google lets you explore the Amazon with Street View

We love Google Street View, especially when it crosses over from being a useful tool to delivering stunning images. A series of recently released images from the Amazon basin are a case in point.

Google released the images for World Forest Day after travelling along the river, through the forest, and to the communities in the Rio Negro Reserve in August 2011.

In official blog post, the internet giant claims you can:

Take a virtual boat ride down the main section of the Rio Negro, and float up into the smaller tributaries where the forest is flooded. Stroll along the paths of Tumbira, the largest community in the Reserve, or visit some of the other communities who invited us to share their lives and cultures. Enjoy a hike along an Amazon forest trail and see where Brazil nuts are harvested. You can even see a forest critter if you look hard enough!

Google says the project was made possible through a partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), a Brazilian non-profit organisation.

In terms of equipment, the company says it used the Street View trike and a tripod camera with a fisheye lens—typically used to capture imagery of business interiors—“to capture both the natural landscape and the local communities”.

All together, Google says, more than 50 000 still photos were stitched together to form the “immersive, 360-degree panoramic views”.

The company has previously made Street View available for a number of the world’s most famous parks, South Africa’s Cape winelands, and Botswanan nature reserves.