Users can access these informative overlays by clicking on the "Featured Content" checkbox in the Google Earth sidebar. In doing so, icons for each Featured Content provider will span the globe, enabling users to click on individual locations and learn about the area's significance. The Featured Content showcase will be routinely updated to include innovative and diverse contributions from additional content providers.
"We are excited to provide users with the opportunity to learn more about the natural wonders and manmade landmarks of the world with Featured Content for Google Earth," said John Hanke, director, Google Earth and Maps. "We believe Google Earth is an excellent medium for organizing and sharing the world's geographic information and we continue to explore opportunities to bring visually compelling and informative content into Google Earth."
Initial Featured Content for Google Earth partners include:
-- United Nations Environmental Program - The UNEP overlay for Google Earth includes successive time-stamped images illustrating 100 areas of extreme environmental degradation around the world. From the deforestation of the Amazon to the fallout of raging forest fires in Sub-Sahara Africa and the decline of the Aral Sea in Central Asia, this before-and-after imagery spanning the past 30 years offers users an online resource for learning about the environmental crisis zones around the world.
-- Discovery Networks World Tour - The Discovery overlay enables travel enthusiasts and armchair tourists alike the opportunity to virtually visit major world attractions, cities, and natural wonders through Google Earth. Featuring streaming Discovery video segments, users can learn about the history and significance of various world landmarks, national parks, American and European cities, and African locations. These multimedia vignettes introduce users to the wonders of King Tut's tomb in the Valley of Kings to the history of the gate of the Itsukushima Shrine in Japan.
-- National Park Service - The National Park Service overlay enables users to learn more about the natural recreation opportunities in their own backyard. This includes detailed park descriptions, information on visitor facilities, and more than 10,000 miles of trails within all 58 US National Parks.
-- Jane Goodall Institute - With the Jane Goodall Institute overlay users can visit Fifi and the other Gombe preserve chimpanzees and follow their daily exploits with the Institute's "geo-blog" in Google Earth. Updated daily, this geo-blog captures the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, illustrating the Institute's research on chimpanzees and the effects of deforestation in Africa.
-- Turn Here - This overlay features free city video guides for travel, restaurants, hotels, local events and music around the globe. Told from an insider's perspective, these short films connect users to information about the best pizza shop in New York's Little Italy to Pablo Picasso's favorite hang-out in Halmstad, Sweden.
About Google Inc.
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