Google recognized five “heroes” this week who use Google Earth software in their efforts to conserve wildlife, clean up pollution, and protect natural resources.
The winners, all nonprofits, used the mapping and geotagging software in innovative ways to educate people about their projects. The heroes program, in its first year, encourages groups and users to submit projects for future recognition.
Save the Elephants employs satellite collars and other technology to track African elephants in efforts to protect the rare animals. (Watch a video with Save the Elephants founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton).
Borneo Orangutan Survival maps out rain forests on the Indonesian island and takes advantage of Google Earth to show land that can be adopted to protect the rare apes’ habitat.
Chief Almir and the Surui tribe upload geotagged photos of illegal logging operations in the Amazon rain forest to raise awareness about the practice. Through Google Earth, the tribe is also educating the world about their culture and planning reforestation efforts.
Appalachian Voices relies on the software to raise awareness about mountaintop removal coal mining by showing users the destructive practice from the air. (Learn more about mountaintop removal mining).
Google will announce new heroes every quarter, so check back every once in a while to see how other groups are using Google Earth technology to spread their messages.