U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Google Join in Online Darfur Mapping Initiative
WASHINGTON, D.C.(rushprnews) April 10, 2007 â€“ The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum today joined with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to unveil an unprecedented online mapping initiative aimed at furthering awareness and action in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Crisis in Darfur, enables more than 200 million Google Earthâ„¢ mapping service users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide currently unfolding in Darfur. The Museum has assembled contentâ€”photographs, data and eyewitness testimonyâ€”from a number of sources that are brought together for the first time in Google Earth. This information will appear as a Global Awareness layer in Google Earth starting today.Google Earthâ€™s Elliot Schrage, Vice President, Global Communications and Public Affairs, joined Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield and Darfurian Daowd Salih at the launch.Crisis in Darfur is the first project of the Museumâ€™s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative that will over time include information on potential genocides allowing citizens, governments and institutions to access information on atrocities in their nascent stages and respond.
“Educating todayâ€™s generation about the atrocities of the past and present can be enhanced by technologies such as Google Earth,” says Bloomfield. “When it comes to responding to genocide, the worldâ€™s record is terrible. We hope this important initiative with Google will make it that much harder for the world to ignore those who need us the most.”
“At Google, we believe technology can be a catalyst for education and action,” said Elliot Schrage, Google Vice President, Global Communications and Public Affairs. “Crisis in Darfur will enable Google Earth users to visualize and learn about the destruction in Darfur as never before and join the Museumâ€™s efforts in responding to this continuing international catastrophe.”
Crisis in Darfur content comes from a range of sourcesâ€”the U.S. State Department, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations, individual photographers, and the Museum. 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 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. Humanitarian organizations and others now have a readily accessible tool for better understanding the situation on the ground in Darfur.
With this release, the Museum also announced the creation of a similar mapping project on Holocaust history available on the Museumâ€™s website: www.ushmm.org/googleearth. The Holocaust took place across the entire European continent, and for all of Europeâ€™s Jews, as well as other victims of Nazism, geography played a major role in determining their fate. The Museum is using Google Earth to map key Holocaust sites with historic content from its collections, powerfully illustrating the enormous scope and impact of the Holocaust. Further information on Holocaust-era sites can be accessed through the Museumâ€™s online Holocaust Encyclopedia at www.ushmm.org.
To find Crisis in Darfur on Google Earth, users must download the Google Earth application at no cost from http://earth.google.com. Once downloaded, users will find Crisis in Darfur by flying over Africa. Information on the Museumâ€™s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative and the Holocaust mapping layer can be accessed from the Museum’s Web site at www.ushmm.org/googleearth.
About the Museum
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum stimulates leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity and strengthen democracy. Federal support guarantees the Museumâ€™s permanence, and donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.
In addition to educating the public about contemporary genocides, through its Academy for Genocide Prevention, the Museum works with State Department and other U.S. government agencies, the military and non-governmental organizations to develop effective methods for responding to and preventing genocide. In July 2004 the Museum declared its first-ever genocide emergency for Darfur and has been a leading voice in educating policy makers and the American public about the urgent need to respond to the genocide there.
About Google Earth
Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Googleâ€™s search service to make the world’s geographic information easily accessible and useful. There have been over 200 million unique downloads of Google Earth since the product’s launch in June, 2005.
Google and Google Earth are trademarks of Google Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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Anne Howard, writer and publicist at www.annehowardpublicist.com