Google has announced Google Earth Outreach: "A new program designed to help nonprofit organizations around the world leverage the power of Google Earth to illustrate and advocate for the important work that they do."
Google Earth Outreach allows organizations to create stories using Google Earth layers. The program includes online guides, video tutorials and case studies about using Google Earth and is targeted at nonprofit organizations. There are also online forums that connect new participants to Global Awareness partners and programmers.
Organizations can now apply for grants for the Google Earth Pro program, which normally costs $400 per person per year, as well as technical support for its Keyhole Markup Language.
According to the ephilanthropy update, non-profits have already started using this new software. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has been using Google Earth to call attention to atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan. When users scan over Darfur, they see icons of flames representing destroyed villages and of tents for refugee camps. Clicking on one opens a window with details and links on how to help.
Additionally, the U.N. Environmental Program has used the software to show areas of environmental destruction. The Jane Goodall Institute shows locations of its research on chimpanzees and African deforestation. A Brazilian Indian tribe is working on ways to stop loggers and miners from deforesting the jungle and digging for gold.
If anyone's tried Google Earth to tell stories online, we'd love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below and tell us how it worked out.