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18 April 2007

Zooming in on Darfur

Gruesome images of the destruction in Darfur are now clearly visible on Google Earth

By Mike Butcher

Perhaps one day technology will teach us how not to commit terrible evil. For now, though, we’ll have to make do with initiatives that simply map in horrendous detail the kinds of things that could happen.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is joining with Google to literally map the genocide currently occuring in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Crisis in Darfur is a project enabling 200 million Google Earth users to view photographs, data and eyewitness testimonies from a number of sources brought together for the first time in Google Earth. This information will appear as a “Global Awareness” layer in Google Earth starting this week.

The details, like the map, are gruesome:

The high-resolution imagery in Google Earth enables users to zoom into the region to view more than 1,600 damaged and destroyed villages, providing visual, compelling evidence of the scope of the destruction. The remnants of more than 100,000 homes, schools, mosques and other structures destroyed by the janjaweed militia and Sudanese forces are clearly visible.

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Now humanitarian organisations and others now have a tool for better understanding the horrific situation on the ground in Darfur.

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