Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 11:00 PM
Home to millions of plant, animal and insect species, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Undiscovered species thrive in the canopies of the primary forests, atop trees that have stood for centuries. Starting today, with the help of our partners at the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), you can begin to unlock some of the wonders of the forest, by traveling from the upper canopy to the forest floor with Google Maps’ first zipline Street View collection.
High up in the canopy, you can see thick moss on the trunks, miles of hanging vine, and some of the many plants and insects that call this place home.
Now zip back down to the forest floor, and wind through a maze of towering old-growth trees. Looking up, the canopies are so thick, the sun barely peeks through.
You can also come out from the shade and take a virtual float down the dreamy waters of the Rio Aripuanã or the Rio Mariepauá and come out to the Rio Madeira, one of the largest tributaries of the Amazon.
And don’t forget to stop by one of the 17 communities of local people who live along the river and in the forest. These people are the devoted stewards of the river and forests, and protect it by living with it, preventing the destruction of the trees and the life that depends on them.
This project is the next step in our partnership with FAS, who first invited us to Rio Negro Sustainable Development Reserve just three years ago. Their hope is that sharing the imagery of their local communities, rain forests and rivers with the world will raise awareness and support for their efforts to conserve these areas. Collected through the Trekker Loan Program, this new imagery is the result of boating down 500 km of rivers, walking 20 km of forest trails and ziplining through forest canopies. We hope it inspires you to embark on your own virtual expedition of the Amazon (you can leave the bug repellent at home!).