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

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

The images were released in 2015. They add to the 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 latest 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. 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.

"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 they might be 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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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is Google willing to pursue crazy ideas? How does Google benefit?
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COMMENTS (41)
  • SarahT-del
    10/12/2017 - 05:01 p.m.

    Google going to benefit wonderfully by this idea. Its a great thing that now we can access the Amazon when its noticed that all of us cant travel to this tropic jungle.

  • AkshayB-del
    10/12/2017 - 05:35 p.m.

    Google is willing to pursue crazy ideas because they wanted to capture the beautiful and exotic pictures of places like the jungle. Google benefits since the people will be successful of capturing photos of the plethora of places they go to.

  • JadeR-del
    10/12/2017 - 05:36 p.m.

    Google is willing to pursue crazy ideas and I know this because the text says "Google has found creative ways to depict exotic locations where there are no roads." Google finds creative ways to help people experience things they never have experienced before! Google can benefit by getting money from companies who want Google to feature them in the app.

  • ZofiaT-del
    10/12/2017 - 05:39 p.m.

    Google is willing to pursue crazy ideas. They want to explore the Amazonian jungle to find out more. They are also want more sponsors. Google benefits with more money.

  • ReesePratt-del
    10/12/2017 - 05:58 p.m.

    So they get attention

  • ChloeT-del
    10/12/2017 - 06:01 p.m.

    Google is willing to pursue crazy ideas to try to get more people interested in Google and because the crazy ideas work really well. They want people to be interested and impressed by their ideas. Google benefits by many people using their site. They want to both impress people and get them to use their site. I both love and dislike this idea. I like it because they are showing people these amazing and exotic pictures of the Amazon jungle. I don't like it because they are also just giving pictures so people would look at their site more. Besides this matter, Google is a good site and I hope it will stay this way.

  • MikhailP-del
    10/12/2017 - 06:26 p.m.

    i believe it is astonishing that google is trying too image how every where in the jungle looks. it is quite amazing they made zip lines for the cameras to go and see this amazing jungal

  • MarianaG-del
    10/12/2017 - 07:05 p.m.

    Google pursue crazy ideas because they gain popularity. They also get better communication with other organizations or business.

  • JasminderK-del
    10/12/2017 - 07:11 p.m.

    Google is pursing to do more crazy ideas to be more unique and creative , from this they benifit by getting more publicity and users. I think this is a very creative and cool idea from googles part.

  • EmilyN-del1
    10/12/2017 - 07:28 p.m.

    I think it is amazing that google wants you to see the most exotic places such as the amazon. It is very cool how people can set up zip line for cameras. I would love to try google street view.

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