Google Earth Activism and the Sierra Club
I’ve got to find creative ways to use my conservation biology degree. After college everything changed after I got a job answering the phones at an internet startup. They’re gone but I’m still going. So I got lost in looking at the Sierra Club’s newest campaign on Google Earth. They started a 10-year campaign to protect fifty-two of the most exceptional places in the country. They chose a place in every state, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. They published details in a report called America’s Wild Legacy.
There is a Google Earth collection that shows all of the 52 locations as placemarks. You can see why the place was chosen with a short summary and a picture. There’s also information about the threats – everything from mining to plans to build high end resorts on the land.
Stories like this – of beautiful places that need attention – are perfect fits for Google Earth. The pictures and brief summary are good for busy people who want to keep up but don’t very well. Google Outreach is Google’s effort to get non-profits involved and use Google Earth to educate and reach more people about their missions.
As Google states their purpose: “Google Earth Outreach supports non-profit organizations that share our mission of community service in areas such as education & culture, environment & science, current affairs, global development, public health and social services.”
The best work I’ve seen from The Sierra Club is about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There are videos, slideshows, and of course, information about conserving the area from oil drilling.
Now there just needs to be an activism layer, perhaps giving a politician’s email address and voting records on the issues. Then all that’s left to do is put up a Google Checkout for Nonprofits link. That way, once they get your attention, they can collect donations on the spot.