Tuesday, May 17, 2005

GOOGLE MAPS - Satellite views

In a similar fashion to Google Sightseeing, here are the geographical areas inhabited by the endangered animals of Last Chance To See. Unfortunately, the Google Maps Satellite View has only really been implemented fully in the United States, but once you're in that view, you CAN drag the map across the world, even if you can't zoom in fully yet.

This first map shows the home of the Aye-Aye Lemur, namely Madagascar (left), along with Mauritius and Reunion (center), and Rodrigues (right).

You can zoom in towards Nosy Mangabe which is the primary home of the Aye-Aye. It is a tiny island at the top of the large inlet.

Here is a closer look at Mauritius (with Reunion), home of the Mauritius Kestrel and Pink Pigeon, and this is Rodrigues, home of the Rodrigues Fruitbat.

Now we have two of the world's largest rivers, the Amazon, home of the Amazonian Manatee, and the Yangtze, home of the Baiji Dolphin (we hope). I've focused on the deltas of the rivers here, allowing you to zoom in and navigate upstream.

Home of the Komodo Dragons, Komodo Island is down in that cluster of islands in the centre of this Indonesian view, with Flores off to the right. Flores is where they recently found the tiny remains of the ancient human that scientists nicknamed "The Hobbit".

Here's the Juan Fernandez Islands, home of the Juan Fernandez Fur Seal of course. Quite interesting to see the undersea mountain range with the two islands just breaking the surface.

Here is Stewart Island, New Zealand. Codfish Island, home of the Kakapo Parrot is a small island to the north west of Stewart, but we can't really see it at this distance.

Finally, over to Africa and Virunga National Park , home of the Mountain Gorilla, which sits just below the topmost lake. And here is Garamba National Park, home of the last few wild Northern White Rhino. Garamba is somewhere down there in that slew of green. This page at the International Rhino Foundation has a better view of the neighbourhood.

Hope that gives everyone a better understanding of just how far Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine had to travel to visit the endangered animals of Last Chance To See.