Google Street View wades into the Amazon rainforest

The Amazon rainforest may be one of the most impenetrable places on Earth, but Google is on a mission to tame it.

The company has started the process of adding the Amazon river and the Rio Negro river to its Street View mapping service. The project to navigate and photograph the rivers is being undertaken in partnership with the Foundation for a Sustainable Amazon (FAS), which approached Google with the idea two years ago. The company will train local people to collect the images and will leave some of its equipment onsite so that more can be collected in the future.

FAS project leader Gabriel Ribenboim said: "It is very important to show the world not only the environment and the way of life of the traditional population, but to sensitise the world to the challenges of climate change, deforestation and combating poverty."

In a blog post, Google said: "We'll pedal the Street View trike along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and manoeuvre it up close to where civilisation meets the rainforest. We'll also mount it onto a boat to take photographs as the boat floats down the river."