We are proud to announce that as of today, the Google Earth Outreach Program is available in Africa, making it possible for local NGOs and other public benefit organizations to take advantage of Google Earth Pro software grants and other opportunities.

In addition to the launch of the program itself, several amazing examples (listed below) of non-profit organizations' efforts to visualize their work in Africa with Google Earth and tell their stories to the world are now available.

Save the Elephants takes you to Mali and shows you their effort to protect the last of the Mali Desert Elephants. This Google Earth project uses KML touring, a feature in Google Earth 5.0 and above, which enables non-profit and other public benefit groups to tell their story with a narrated tour. Your narrator on this Google Earth journey is Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Founder of Save the Elephants in Samburu, Kenya. This is also the next tour in the 'Changing Climate in Google Earth' series in the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate summit in December. Download the tour here, or view it at www.google.com/cop15.

The Mapping Africa's Protected Areas Project, or MAPA, has done just that: mapped Africa's parks and reserves in Southern and East Africa. See rich content including park boundaries, GPS tracks, images, and more, as this project makes available for the first time valuable data of land and wildlife in protected areas in Africa. Download the MAPA Google Earth file here to begin exploring!

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has done it again: with the release of their new Uganda Atlas of Our Changing Environment, they have mapped areas of drastic environmental change using historical imagery for 11 sites in Uganda. See the change for yourself in Google Earth, by opening Google Earth, turning on the "UNEP: Atlas of Our Changing Environment" layer in the the Layers panel, and zooming into Uganda to click on some of the placemarks. They have also created narrated Google Earth tours for four locations of environmental change: the City of Kampala, Mabira Forest Reserve, Mount Elgon, and the Mau Complex. [Update, 11/2: The sites in the "UNEP Atlas of Our Changing Environment" layer showing areas of dramatic environmental change in Kenya and Uganda are based on work in two recent hardcover publications: "Kenya, Atlas of Our Changing Environment from UNEP" and "The Kenya Government and Uganda, Atlas of Our Changing Environment" produced by the Government of Uganda with support from UNEP.]

Use these examples to get inspired, and to get ideas for what your organization can do! If you are an African NGO or other public benefit organization, visit http://earth.google.com/outreach/africa.html to learn more, apply for a Google Earth Pro software grant, and get training materials on various Google Geo products.