Google Earth Maps Out Darfur Atrocities


by Janet Ritz

Google Earth has teamed up with the US Holocaust Museum to map out all Darfur atrocities on their satellite views and match them to the Holocaust Museum's collection of photos and documentation that the museum has been gathering on the Darfur genocide:

As of today, when the 200 million users of Google Earth log onto the site, they will be able to view the horrific details of what's happening in Darfur for themselves.

In an effort to bring more attention to the ongoing crisis in Darfur, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has teamed up with Google's mapping service literally to map out the carnage in the Darfur region.


And here's an ABC News video with an incredible (and troubling) demonstration of the Google Earth Darfur Initiative. I hightly recommend everyone take the time to watch it and tell everyone they know about the effort these organizations are making to bring this story to light.

From the CNN article:

The new initiative, called "Crisis in Darfur," enables Google Earth users to visualize the details in the region, including the destruction of villages and the location of displaced persons in refugee camps.

Elliot Schrage, Google's vice president of global communications and public affairs, joined museum director Sara J. Bloomfield to make the official announcement about the new feature.

"At Google, we believe technology can be a catalyst for education and action," Schrage said. " 'Crisis in Darfur' will enable Google Earth users to visualize and learn about the destruction in Darfur as never before and join the museum's efforts in responding to this continuing international catastrophe."

Google Earth is also working with the museum to do the same thing with the WWII Holocaust, mapping to:

Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Treblinka, Warsaw and Lodz with historic content from its collections to illustrate the enormous scope and impact of the Holocaust. Each place links to a featured article with related historical photographs, testimony clips, maps, artifacts and film footage.

If it is well received, it is likely they will continue with all atrocities (on all sides of debates). Therefore, imo, the more encouragement they receive for these first two efforts (Darfur and WWII), the better.

This type of hypertexting combined with search-capable satellite views that can magnify to ground level is one of the best teaching tools of the world of new technology to date. Too often, atrocities are learned about in the abstract. This is a way to bring their scope and context to light.

To quote Sara Bloomfield:

"When it comes to responding to genocide, the world's record is terrible. We hope this important initiative with Google will make it that much harder for the world to ignore those who need us the most."

Here's the link to Google Earth.

And to the US Holocaust Museum.

And to the official release about their joint efforts.