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

In its foray into the wilderness, Google teamed up with environmental protection group Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, or FAS. They wanted to explore a remote part of an Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Google Inc. lent FAS its Trekker device. It is 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. She oversees Google's Street View partnerships.

The setup required FAS workers to tread through the rainforest. They needed to find a place where they could string the zip line. That's so the Trekker wouldn't bump into tree trunks and branches as it zoomed through the thick canopy. FAS workers found just enough room to erect a zip line. The Trekker's trip went roughly 65 yards.

"If a partner comes to us with a crazy idea, we will probably try it," Tuxen-Bettman said.

Google developed the Trekker camera in 2012. Since then, the device has been dispatched on other unusual journeys. The Trekker went scuba diving in the Galpagos Islands. It took underwater photographs of the preserve. And it 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. Its photographs have occasionally captured images of unsuspecting bystanders. They might have been engaged in embarrassing activities. Or been captured near places where they didn't want to be seen. Cars carrying Street View cameras also secretly vacuumed up emails and other personal information from 2007 to 2010. They were being transmitted over unsecure Wi-Fi networks. That sparked 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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COMMENTS (98)
  • RachelE-Kut
    4/01/2015 - 03:21 p.m.

    I think it's a cool idea that you can explore the rainforest without spending money to go there. You can learn about what it's like to be in a jungle. But you might not be able to see a lot off animals cause they might get scared.

  • SavannahT-Kut
    4/01/2015 - 04:08 p.m.

    This can be good and bad, good as in if you want to explore the Amazon Rainforest for a vacation; then yes it would be a good idea. but you can always find descriptions from people on what it was like to be there. and you can google images of the amazon rainforest too.
    the bad part is that sometimes it keeps people glued to there seats about the new releases on google earth instead of going out to the place they are observing.

  • AlexN-Kut
    4/01/2015 - 05:31 p.m.

    this seems really cool but will this disturb the wild life living in the amazon rain forest? also what would you exactly type if you wanted to see this. I love though that google is taking it to the rain forest. I wonder if google will soon go underwater.

  • JadenW-Kut
    4/01/2015 - 08:42 p.m.

    I honestly think it's sad that we are starting to use the Internet to see breathtaking views, rather than taking a vacation to the Amazon, to see the amazing views, the tropical animals, and the vibrant plants. Now, we're so reliant on electronics, it's like once the power goes out, our creativity, amusement, and our entire life also go out. It's sad to realize that I do all these things as well. It's actually scary to think what would happen if the power went out on the entire world. Grocery stores would be raided. War would rise. I hope I never have to see that in my lifetime.

  • TaylorH-4
    4/01/2015 - 08:54 p.m.

    Google can now show you what it is like the zip line through the trees in the Amazon jungle. To capture these photos they sent a camera on a zip line through the jungle. The camera what roughly 65 yards. This allows you to feel what is like to be in the Amazon jungle. I am enjoyed this article because it is cool how you can feel like you're in the jungle. I hope this idea works out well.

  • LundyG-3
    4/01/2015 - 09:31 p.m.

    Google is now showing people what it's like to go zip lining through the Amazon jungle. Google has found a very creative, new way to explore areas for Google Maps. Google teamed up with the environmental protection group Amazons Sustainable Foundation and send a backpack go pro, type of thing down a zip line. The Trekker's went 65 yards, avoiding trees and thick canopy. The Trekker has also gone scuba diving and sledding through the tundra. People earlier thought that there were going to be many privacy issues because of it.

    This is a good and bad idea. It's a new way to explore new lands that cars or people can't necessarily go. The privacy issue is a big thing though. People like privacy and don't want anything interfering with theirs. I hope to see more pictures of the Trekker's pictures and explorations.

  • AndreasG-Kut
    4/01/2015 - 09:53 p.m.

    i think it is super cool how on google maps they show the rain forest. When you think about, technology has come super far. Also one thing that is supper cool is how they used the trekker. From the website www.google.com they showed the trekker as like a ball with a camera in it, but accually it looks kind of strange. Again this is super cool and i will definitely try this out on my cellular device.

  • MicahL-Kut
    4/01/2015 - 09:55 p.m.

    I cant believe how much technology Google is producing,I have tried out Google's other simulators like flight sim., street view, and Google maps, and i can't wait to try out this one out!

  • SydneyL-3
    4/01/2015 - 10:57 p.m.

    Google maps now allows you to travel through the Amazon jungle on a zip line, digitally on Google maps. Google teamed up with environmental protection group Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, to explore a remote part of an Amazon rainforest in Brazil. To get the photos, a camera called the Trekker would be mounted on an apparatus designed to be carried like a backpack on hikers walking on trails. The Trekker was developed in 2012 and has since been on many unusual journeys, including the Galpagos Islands and the Canadian Arctic. I think that the Trekker's new journey through the Amazon jungle would be very interesting to see on google maps, especially if it will be on a zip-line.

  • LucasH-3
    4/01/2015 - 11:18 p.m.

    Google will now let you see through the Amazon jungle. Google Maps have added a so called "street view" of the jungle. Google teamed up with an environmental protection group called FAS and wanted to get a better look inside the entire Amazon jungle. Google lent FAS a trekker device. This device is designed to be carried on a backpack by someone, so someone will walk through the forest with it attached to his or her backpack to capture images of this jungle.

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