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

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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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is Google willing to pursue crazy ideas? How does Google benefit?
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COMMENTS (27)
  • AnnetteNerger-ban
    11/06/2017 - 07:44 a.m.

    Google is willing to do try crazy things just because they are new. It benefits them because now they have new things that no one else has ever done before.

  • DanielMahaney-ban
    11/06/2017 - 07:49 a.m.

    I want to try this!This is cool.

  • BenjaminCammarata-ban
    11/06/2017 - 07:50 a.m.

    Google is willing to pursue "crazy" ideas because the potential result will be beneficial t the company. If their idea pays off, than they will gain status as well as money.

  • MichaelaO'Leary-ban
    11/06/2017 - 07:50 a.m.

    Google is willing to pursue crazy ideas to make new discoveries. They benefit from this by having new technology, discoveries, and they make money from this.

  • AndrewBraithwaite-ban
    11/06/2017 - 07:52 a.m.

    Google is willing to pursue crazy ideas because it enforces others to try it out

  • LeiaH-pla
    1/29/2018 - 02:02 p.m.

    The article discusses Google's newest addition to its Google Earth program. They have recently been adding the street view feature to remote locations around the globe such as the Amazon Rain forest and the Galapagos Islands. The article briefly mentions the privacy concerns about Google street view, but argues that privacy is not an issue when it comes to exploring nature. By mentioning the privacy concerns that have been made in the past, the author of the article demonstrates their knowledge of possible issues that could arise with Google's new feature. Also, Google is providing people with the opportunity to explore places that they will probably never see in their lifetime. Google recognized a desire in society and went to great lengths in order to provide people with that opportunity.

  • ThomasM-buh
    4/26/2018 - 10:21 a.m.

    i think this is really cool that you can go through the amazon so i would give this 5 stars it was old thank you for listing go find stuff in the amazon

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