After a few of years of being able to peek through your neighbours windows with Google Street View, we will soon be able to see an area not many people get to see very often.
Having been approached by Foundation for a Sustainable Amazon (FAS), Google are mounting their 360 degree cameras on boats and buggies in order to enable us to get a complete view of the Amazon and Rio Negra rivers in Brazil, and a number of the villages which line the rivers.Long-term, Google are training locals to use the equipment to provide jobs, and to ensure the long term sustainability of the program. This is to help us see the effects (or not!) of poor global sustainability efforts, and the effects of deforestation in the Amazon.
The buggies and boats will enable the usual visualisations of the Amazon which we have become used to within our towns and cities, whilst technology developed to aid the photography of business premises will be used to photograph the houses and community centres of the local villages.
Maria do Socorro da Silva Mendonca, who has never heard of Google, is excited about the idea.
“I don’t know anything about the Internet, I think it is wonderful because our community was never published anywhere, not even [big Brazilian city] Manaus.
“Nobody knows we are here.”
From a personal point of view, the ability to see such an area, which I may never get a chance to visit, is a fantastic opportunity for the web-savvy travel fan. But how much of an intrusion into their lives is this? Much has been said about the invasion of privacy thanks to Google Street View, so do we think this is an invasion of the privacy of the people living along this river? Is it not a beautiful thing that there are places which are mysterious to us all? Google is such a powerhouse online, with a massive range of products and services that we all take for granted it seems incredulous to us that there are people who still dont know what Google is. Without suggesting that we stunt their development (with a realisation that we are here talking about a very western form of development), how beneficial is it to introduce a whole new world to these people could this be one small step towards the homogenisation of their culture into ours?
If you want to se the Amazon in person, why not have a look through our range of holidays and accommodations in Brazil?