Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:30 PM
What do cows, coral, craters, and now chameleons have in common? They all have been part of scientific discoveries made possible with Google Earth (if you guessed the letter 'c', we'll still give you credit). Last year we blogged about some of the discoveries we'd heard about, and now we're adding another one to the file. Two British reptile experts were able to find new species of chameleons and butterflies by scouting their research locations in Google Earth. By looking for mountains taller than 1,500 meters in southern Malawi, they were able to determine patterns in the imagery that indicated where they'd find a rainforest with the right conditions for their research. Over the past year at the site near Mount Mulanje, they've found more than 10 new species. You can read more about their research and see pictures of some of the critters here.
If you have your own story of how Google Earth or Google Maps helped you discover something - whether a new species or just a great picnic spot - let us know!