Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Using Google Maps to safeguard elephants for future generations

For the first time in Kenya, Google, in partnership with Save the Elephants - and with the support of the Samburu County Government - has launched GoogleStreet View in Samburu in a bid to create awareness and applaud efforts geared towards the conservation of elephants in Kenya.

The newly launched Google Maps feature that enables users to explore places around the world
through 360-degree, panoramic, and street-level imagery, will now feature the S amburu National
Reserve, L ewa Wildlife Conservancy and the D avid Sheldrick Wildlife Trust a s well as Save the
Elephants; bringing people around the world closer to the majesty and beauty of the remaining
elephant population in Kenya.

“Samburu is an elephant paradise. Thanks to the culture of the Samburu people the elephants
here are unusually tame and trusting, and that’s allowed us to study them as deeply as anywhere
in Africa. It’s exciting to be joining hands with Google to open a window onto Samburu, and to
help us better protect its elephants,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants.

The Samburu street view special collect is part of Google Earth Outreach’s commitment to
bringing knowledge and resources to nonprofit organizations like Save the Elephants. The platform
will not only serve to educate people about the recurring threat to the elephants but also provide,
for the Samburu County Government, a platform from which they can spread awareness on the
importance of elephants to the community.

“We hope that by bringing street view to Samburu, we will inspire people around the world to
gain a deeper appreciation for elephants and complement the efforts of organisations such as
Save the Elephants. Today’s launch not only b rings us closer to our ultimate goal of creating the
world’s most comprehensive, accurate and usable maps, but also brings the beauty of Kenya to
the world ,” said Google Kenya Country Marketing Manager, Farzana Khubchandani.

Samburu is, currently, home to one of the best-studied remaining elephant populations in the
world. The reserve is used by approximately 900 elephants - which may not exist in the next 20
years if they are not protected. The reserve is at the heart of a growing community conservation
movement that is seen as a model for elsewhere on the continent. For more than a decade Save
the Elephants has been using Google Earth as a platform to display the movements of the
elephants they track, assisting rangers in defending elephants and training local people to become
wildlife experts.

“Giving people a virtual tour of the Samburu National Reserve through Google Street View will
bring the Samburu to the world and inspire the world to come to Samburu. The more people
experience our culture, our people and the majestic elephants and other wildlife with which we
co-exist, the more we are able to conserve and sustain the Samburu culture and its fragile
ecosystem for generations to come ,” said H.E. Moses Lenolkulal, Governor, Samburu County .

The launch of Google street view in Samburu is part of Google’s on-going effort to create the most
comprehensive, accurate and easy to use map. Google street view is available in 57 countries
around the world, a nd Kenya is the 10th country in Africa to have the feature available and
functional.

Google street view is free for all and available on Google Maps in the web browser, as well as
Google Maps for mobile on Android and iOS platforms. To take a virtual tour around Samburu’s
reserves and conservatories visit: www.google.com/maps/streetview/# maps.google.co.ke

Via Agencies