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?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    4/02/2015 - 02:05 p.m.

    I think that it is cool for Google to let the image to zoom into a rain forest because I think that Google wanted people who has Google glasses wanted to get interested by the view of the Amazon rain forest that they didn't see it before. Well if Google wanted the rain forest image to zoom into the real looking forest, seems like it already interested people with Google glasses already.

  • AJ_Slater
    4/02/2015 - 06:34 p.m.

    Google is one of the most technologically advance companies. With the function in Google Maps to have street view. A panoramic view of the street. They are now letting you explore rain forests too. I think that this is a really cool function of Google.

  • MasonK-4
    4/02/2015 - 06:46 p.m.

    I bet you can download google map's latest feature on a zip file. That is, by going to the rain forest and going on a zip file. Google Maps has really gone the extra mile in the last fe years, but this time, they went to the forest. This time, they grouped up with the Amazonian Sustainable Foundation, or FAS. They hooked up their trekker to a zip line which took photos for 65 yards. Google has gotten in trouble fore privacy breaches before, but the only thing in this photo was wilderness. My only question is, what happened at the bottom of the zip line?

  • ThomasC-2
    4/02/2015 - 06:55 p.m.

    Ever wondered how it feels to zip line through the rain forest in South America and see all the exotic plants and animals that live through the forest? If you have never wondered how it feels, then fear not, Google inc. has wondered and photographed this wonderful feat already! They did this so a person like you can see and almost feel as if you were zip lining through the rain forest for 65 yards, looking at the exotic plants and animals, with a view of the beautiful mountains located in the rain forest. Google has not only done this once, but many times, and this new feature has created a amazing interface to Google earth, and Google maps. The cameras to take the exciting trip through the rain forest and even the Galapagos islands scuba diving fun are called "Trekker" cameras, and they shoot with 1080p video and photo. This helps Google get to places that they would of not have been able to get to 5 years ago, when there was no Trekker cameras to capture the rain forest. These cameras can go where no one has gone before, and it's really amazing. I think that these cameras are really awesome for all sorts of things, and it just makes the whole experience better for everything Google gives us as consumers on Google maps, earth, and street view.

  • JasonW-1
    4/02/2015 - 07:10 p.m.

    Google is expanding street view to jungle view. They are using zip-lines to send cameras photographing the Amazon. They are being helped with this by the FAS. This is great because now people don't have to travel to the amazon to see it. I like it.

  • AustinN-3
    4/02/2015 - 07:21 p.m.

    Google maps have always been a fascinating thing. But now, Google is planing to take their street view into the jungle. They have teamed up with an environmental protection group called FAS. Google then lent a Trekker device, which is a camera that is set up on a hiker's backpack, to them. But instead of hiking through the Amazon with the Trekker, FAS zip lined it through the Amazon.

    This was an interesting article that had an unusual topic. It was written and executed very well.

  • DylanM-4
    4/02/2015 - 09:01 p.m.

    A new form of the Google street view had Been introduced; jungle view. Goggle teamed up with another group to zip line through the Amazon. This is just another stage in the plan for Google to show exotic places to the world. I think this is cool to see new places of the world.

  • TaylorM-Kut
    4/02/2015 - 09:15 p.m.

    It is amazing how the world could be right in front of you on any device of yours it is truly amazing they are coming up with so many ideas for a computer in cheap ways

  • CapeleyZ-1
    4/02/2015 - 09:44 p.m.

    This article was about how google has made a new street view in the Brazilian rainforest that makes it seem like you are zip lining. The road has no streets so it was rather difficult to get the 360 view of the jungle but google teamed up with FAS (Amazonas Sustainable Foundation) in order to get a really good view. Street View has had some controversy over the subject of privacy because people were photographed doing embarrassing things or being somewhere that they shouldn't of. I Think that it is so cool that Google takes these street view pictures.

  • joellep1
    4/02/2015 - 10:44 p.m.

    Google "street view" has updated all the places you can see. Now you are able to look around thought he Amazon Jungle. To get pictures for Google street view, Google workers usually drive a car around with a mounted camera that takes multiple pictures per second. But the Amazon jungle has no roads. So they used a camera mounted on an apparatus originally designed to be carried in a backpack by hikers or walkers. But instead they sent the camera (called the Trekker) down a zip line going through the Amazon. This has made it possible for us to now take a look through the Amazon junkle! Thank you Google!

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