The six Rs of Google Earth Outreach

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 6:29 PM



As part of the Google Earth Outreach team, we're big fans of the three Rs of environmentalism: reduce, reuse, recycle. We also abide by another important set of Rs: release, revise, repeat. By trying out new ideas, listening to feedback, and making changes, we think we'll do a better job of helping out our partners.

In that spirit, today we've updated our site to include some new content. Over the course of the week we'll show you around in detail, but for now, here's a quick tour:

Getting Started guide: Since launching the Google Earth Outreach program last June, we've seen a growing interest from nonprofits in using Google Maps. So we've created this step-by-step guide to help organizations get started using Maps, Earth, or both.

Case studies: Today you'll find a few new ones featured. The "Ecology of the Ancient Bristlecone Pines" looks at how researchers use Google Earth in their fieldwork studying bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California. The "EDGE of Existence" case study describes the making of a KML showing the 100 most endangered mammals on earth. (The KML code was generated from a spreadsheet by our new Spreadsheet Mapper 2.0 tool. Stay tuned for more on that!) We've included an update to the Neighbors Against Irresponsible Logging (NAIL) case study describing how Google Earth helped them win their environmental battle to save a redwood forest. Finally, we're pleased to publish an update from Appalachian Voices, describing their new and innovative "MyConnection" site, which shows individuals how they are personally connected to mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. Update: read what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has to say about this initiative.

Tutorials: In addition to the new Spreadsheet Mapper tool and tutorial (which we'll be telling you more about tomorrow), we want to let you know about our new Collaborate on Your Maps tutorial that highlights the collaborative mapping capability introduced recently to MyMaps -- potentially very useful for volunteer groups and nonprofits.

And last but not least, since our program is designed to help the nonprofit community make the most of our mapping tools, we thought we ought to have a map of that community right on our homepage. If your organization is using Maps or Earth -- or is thinking about doing so -- you can add your organization to our map in just a couple of minutes. This is a small first step toward more actively involving our partners in our site to share ideas, challenges, and successes.