So, you've been dreaming of visiting the Amazon Rainforest all your life, but getting around the logistics of flights, cruises, accommodation, and creepy crawly bugs has always put you off. Well, the good news is that soon you will be able to explore it virtually with the help of Google Earth.
Yes, that's right, as their latest Street View project, the internet giant is planning on mapping the legendary South American jungle by fixing a camera to the top of a boat and capturing information from the waterways.
Google announced the project on their blog in mid-August this year, stating that: "A few members of our Brazil and U.S. Street View and Google Earth Outreach teams are currently in the Amazon rainforest using our Street View technology to capture images of the river, surrounding forests and adjacent river communities."
During the first phase, the Google team will be navigating a 48 km section of the Rio Negra River tributary extending from the Tumbira community near Manaus - the capital of Amazonas - to Terra Pret. From here they will continue on into the majestic waters of the Amazon river.
For images of the surrounding villages, the team will be making use of the Street View trike - a more lightweight vehicle than the Street View car typically used to gather images of urban areas - by pedaling it ""along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and manoeuvre[ing] [it] up close to where civilization meets the rainforest," Google said.
Apart from this "Google will also be employing enterprise technology in the Amazon: it will be using the same tech behind its Business Places services - which maps the interior of companies on Google Maps - to gather imagery of places, such as a school or community centre, along the Amazon," Jo Best from Silicon.com reported.
The project will be taking place in partnership with the local non-profit organization, Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) and once the Google Street View team has left, the mapping will continue with the help charity workers who have been trained to use the specialized image gathering kit.
Google has completed similar projects in Antarctica, Stonehenge and the Canadian Rockies.