Google lets you zip through the Amazon jungle
Google lets you zip through the Amazon jungle (Thinkstock)
Google lets you zip through the Amazon jungle
Lexile: 1480L

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Google wants show you what it's like to zip through trees in the Amazon jungle.

The images released in 2015 add to the already diverse collection of photos supplementing Google's widely used digital maps. The maps' "Street View" option mostly provides panoramic views of cities and neighborhoods photographed by car-mounted cameras, but Google also has found creative ways to depict exotic locations where there are no roads.

In its foray into the wilderness, Google teamed up with environmental protection group Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, or FAS, to explore a remote part of an Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Google Inc. lent FAS its Trekker device, a camera mounted on an apparatus originally designed to be carried like a backpack by hikers walking on trails.

FAS, though, sent the Trekker down a zip line. Google is renowned for going out on a technological limb, but even this project made the company nervous at first, said Karin Tuxen-Bettman, who oversees Google's Street View partnerships.

The setup required FAS workers to tread through the rainforest to find a place where they could string the zip line so the Trekker wouldn't bump into tree trunks and branches as it zoomed through the thick canopy. With the help of some monkeys who joined their scouting expedition, FAS workers found just enough room to erect a zip line for the Trekker's roughly 65-yard trip.

"One of the things that I love about working at Google is that if a partner comes to us with a crazy idea, we will probably try it," Tuxen-Bettman said.

Since Google developed the Trekker camera in 2012, the device has been dispatched on other unusual journeys. The Trekker went scuba diving in the Galpagos Islands to take underwater photographs of the preserve, and traveled on a dog sled in the Canadian Artic to photograph the tundra.

Google's Street View feature has raised privacy concerns through the years because its photographs have occasionally captured images of unsuspecting bystanders engaged in embarrassing activities or near places where they didn't want to be seen. Cars carrying Street View cameras also secretly vacuumed up emails and other personal information transmitted over unsecure Wi-Fi networks from 2007 to 2010, sparking outrage and legal action around the world.

Privacy issues shouldn't be an issue in any of the photography taken by the zip-lining Trekker. Birds and insects are the only visible forms of life in the pictures it took.

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Why is Google willing to pursue crazy ideas? How does Google benefit?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • BrigitteA-3
    4/01/2015 - 11:52 p.m.

    The Trekker, a Google camera used to capture the life of remote places and urbanized cities, has just completed it's journey through some of the Amazon jungle. It captured pictures of the life there and some living creatures in their natural habitats. It's mission was to view remote places and take pictures to be put onto Google maps. I think that it is amazing how far technology has improved the last couple of years and that we can now achieve things like this and more.

  • destineym-Goo
    4/02/2015 - 09:44 a.m.

    They are willing to pursue crazy ideas because they make more money the more they come up with crazy ideas. Personally this seems like a really cool thing to do. Google is going to make alot of money off of this. Google is a multi million dollar company and it makes millions of dollars a day pretty impressive.

  • nathang-Goo
    4/02/2015 - 09:47 a.m.

    Google is willing to pursue crazy ideas. The text states that the started photographing the streets to come up with a newly thought up design called street view. The text also that Google is renowned for going out on a technological limb. The evidence from the text proves that Google has showed that it is not afraid to pursue any crazy ideas that people may have.

  • destineym-Goo
    4/02/2015 - 10:00 a.m.

    Google is willing to pursue crazy ideas. Google benefits financially. The text states that "Google is renowned for going out on a technological limb, but even this project made the company nervous at first..." The text also states that "The images recently released are the latest addition to the diverse collection of photos supplementing Google's widely used digital maps." This is a crazy idea because people might want to see it. It is going to help them financially do to their continued popularity. This evidence proves that this is a crazy good idea.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    4/04/2015 - 07:06 p.m.

    This is really awesome. Just the other day I was on Google street view "walking" around Paris and other places, just for fun. It's cool to be able to experience different places without having to pay tons of money to truly be there in person. Even though viewing it in real life would be amazing, the technology Google is creating can really help people to imagine exactly what a certain place would be like.

  • Ashleypatt
    4/06/2015 - 01:51 p.m.

    This will benefit google so much. They are going to take outstanding pictures of the wild life and even at jungles and put them on google images or even on google maps. Many people love to see these pictures and set them as backgrounds or even painters like to paint this kind of stuff because it expresses many things in many ways.

  • GavinCTurqois
    4/07/2015 - 12:04 p.m.

    This is a really cool thing Google is doing. It is also vary much so scary that the camera is able to pick up private information.

  • vancer-Che
    4/07/2015 - 01:48 p.m.

    Technology is awesome ,street view first now rain forest tours, who knows what's next, underwater? I hope google makes more incredible technology advances in the future

  • AllisonLogan1
    4/09/2015 - 05:23 p.m.

    You thought Google was cool, but it just got cooler by letting you see what it's like zip lining through the Amazon Jungle. A good thing about this would be that you can see places now where roads can't lead to. A bad thing would be Google has been in trouble for giving out privacy information because of the Street View cameras. A interesting thing is that Google is willing to do anything that sounds not possible, but they are willing to try it.

  • Josephl-Pav
    4/16/2015 - 10:00 a.m.

    This is so cool. I wouldn't think that google would risk something happening just so the world can see some pictures. This is a great way to explore new places that are very hard to get into. Google should start doing this in the Sahara desert if they don't already have one.

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