You Can Now Explore the Amazon with Google Street View

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Let us venture deep into the heart of the Amazon like Klaus Kinski. It won’t be easy; you’ll need to sit in your chair and, possibly, grab another Mountain Dew from the fridge. That’s because Google has finally brought the Amazon to you.

Last year, Google announced that it was taking its Street View cameras to Brazil, where it would team up with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) to collect images of the Amazon. Google mounted its state-of-the-art cameras on two vehicles — a small motorboat and a tricycle — and explored what the jungle had to offer.

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The results of their efforts are available today. Float through the flooded forest of the Rio Negro! Take a stroll down a shady path in the Amazonian rainforest!

I have to admit, I spent most of my time (unsuccessfully) looking for animals. Luckily, Google pointed out a fun picture of a frog clinging to a camera in a blog post. Another fun fact: Google stitched more than 50,000 photos together to create these 360-degree views.

Exploring it all is a blast and a reminder of the full potential of Google Street View. Using it to explore museums is certainly fun, but those museums are fairly accessible to the public. Most of us will never get a chance to explore a place like the Amazon.

Like its mapping of the Great Barrier Reef, Google is providing people around the world glimpses of places that are too remote for ordinary people to visit. I’d like to put in a request for the next locale: the Moon. Come on, Google, call Newt Gingrich and make this happen.

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