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

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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Why is Google willing to pursue crazy ideas? How does Google benefit?
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  • BeckettN-2
    4/02/2015 - 12:49 a.m.

    This article is about Google scanning the Amazon jungle. They used Trekkar devices on surveyors going on zip lines.
    I think it's interesting Google has found ways to scan uninhabitable areas.

  • HannahM-3
    4/02/2015 - 12:51 a.m.

    Google has always been fun to look at street view "walking down the street". Now, with new technology, you can zoom through the Amazon. Google teamed up with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation and out the google camera onto a zip line. This was a difficult challenge for the partnership because it was hard to find a path for the camera to travel without bumping into the thick layers of the canopy. Google has also tried other filming areas such as slushing on a sled through the tundra, and scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands. This is a new technology that will affect many peoples lives.

  • JordanK-Kut
    4/02/2015 - 07:07 a.m.

    I think it is so cool that Google is doing this kind of thing! I have always wanted to go to the rain forest and take lots of pictures of the exotic plants and animals, now I don't have to I can just look at the 3D images on Google! I am totally in to doing this as long as they don't harm animals! You can take as many pictures as you want but when you start harming them Google or another kind of business would get a lot of people protesting this idea.

  • AnthonyL-Kut
    4/02/2015 - 08:05 a.m.

    i think that its very cool that google is letting people go to the amazon rain forest when they cant.its also cool that they have such amazing pictures to support the feeling of actually being there

  • JB2001Blue
    4/02/2015 - 08:38 a.m.

    I knew this was going to happen, Google was thinking about making a Google Nose that will make the scent of a flower or a spice, but it's still in development, just like this. :P

  • cF00oKc
    4/02/2015 - 08:40 a.m.

    i think its cool let people see maps of jungles tp see how it will be there if u travel. llike i nevr saw one i would might look at it.

  • DT00x3
    4/02/2015 - 08:40 a.m.

    Google is willing to do this so they cod get more people or viewers interested in the Amazon. Google benefits from this because they earn more money by doing this. Google is reaching what no other Internet explorer has yet to accomplished.

  • GaelSalazar-Har
    4/02/2015 - 11:12 a.m.

    The Google street view is always fun to look at. You can look at places you dream about going or just trying to see something from street view. I think Google is just making it better by having street view in the Amazon jungle so we can see how it looks like from that angle.Though I do understand why people have complaints about street view, as an example from the article saying that they may be doing something embarrassing or may be seen somewhere that they don't want other people to see them there. But street view is a great thing Google has and it makes google earth more fun.

  • ChrisGacho-Har
    4/02/2015 - 11:14 a.m.

    This new technology will help a lot in Google Map, we will be able to explore many new places in the world, all just because of this amazing technonlogy.

  • SydneyD-Kut
    4/02/2015 - 11:52 a.m.

    Wow! The new technology on google earth is amazing. I really like google earth and this will make it a lot better. The new trekker camera is a really great invention. It has gone scuba diving and even went on a dog sled race in Canada.

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