More on Darfur

So to add on to our discussions on google earth/maps and Darfur I've got a link to an article about Google's attempt to publicize the genocide in Darfur by featuring images of destroyed villages and farms etc, Google in Darfur.

I know the first thing we think of when we talk about satellite imaging systems is that these things can be used for "EVIL". I'd still agree with that sentiment, however is it not good that the word on Darfur can be spread through powerful images?

Still, I don't think we can be too quick to say that Google knows what it's playing with. In the last week Google took major hits for not showing destruction in New Orleans from the Katrina Hurricane. They apparently had been showing pre-Katrina images. While I don't think this is evil, it's certainly not honest.

Here's something else I found. Apparently, Google Earth switched up the imgages of Basra, from more recent images to images before the war, taken years ago. Just an example of the sort of issues that can crop up regarding this program. Google Earth walks a fine line between the privacy rights of individiuals, the rights of everyone to information and requests from certain organisations/governments that they can choose to ignore or cater to.

The fact that humanity has gotten to the point from where people once thought the Earth was flat as a pancake to now, where this sort of imaging in Googlge Earth is available, is mind-boggling.
To me, one of the best uses that Google Earth can be put to is an increasing awareness of the environment and the damage that is being done to it. One should be able to see the destruction of the rainforests, shrinking Arctic ice caps, expanding urban growth and such, hopefully this will foster a greater understanding of the need for people to work towards protecting Earth's environment.