FeralScan mapping animals in Australia

Over the last two centuries Australia has been plagued by many feral animal brought in by settlers from Europe and other parts of the world. This includes rabbits, foxes, camels, pigs and many, many more species. FeralScan is a collaborative project between Federal and State Governments, private organisations and community to map and monitor distribution of various feral animals on Australian continent. By mapping the damage caused by these animals, FeralScan can help to identify when, where and how to control these animals in order to reduce their impact on the environment.

For example, there are more than 1 million wild camels currently roaming the Australian desert and causing damage to water supplies and disturbing Aboriginal communities. CamelScan, a crowdsouced initiative under FeralScan project, allows anyone to report sightings of feral camels in Australia on a Google Map. Thanks to this initiative scientists involved in the project will be able to develop regional maps, as well as national picture of where feral camels occur, and work out where they congregate in different seasons.

Google Earth: Imagery Update – Last Week of May

The Google Earth and Google Maps Imagery Team has just published its first batch of satellite and aerial imagery for June, and as always, there are all kinds of fascinating sites and features to check out.

Our first example image shown below is of the Sacred Heart church and its famous gilded dome located on the Notre Dame campus in Notre Dame, Indiana. A church has continuously occupied this site since 1830 and the current basilica foundation was laid in 1868. This aerial imagery was acquired in late April, 2011.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

When you’re done checking out the beautiful Notre Dame campus imagery, zoom over to Oregon and explore our new aerial imagery of the Salem region acquired this past summer. Below is a section of the Oregon Garden, a botanical garden located in Silverton. In the upper-right corner, you can see the only Frank Loyd Wright building in the state, the Gordon House. This home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was envisioned as a model of affordable homes for the local working-class citizens.

Oregon Garden, Silverton, Oregon
Finally, here’s a satellite image taken in December 2010 of the San Cristóbal Volcano. This active volcano rises above the town of Chichigalpa, locted in Chinandega, Nicaragua. In the image, you can see the gas and ash clouds emanating from the volcano’s caldera. These clouds and prevailing winds have served to remove all vegetation from the volcano’s southwestern flank.

San Cristóbal Volcano, Chichigalpa, Chinandega, Nicaragua.
Do you have a place you love for which you’d like to receive a notification when the Earth and Maps Imagery team updates the site? We’ve got just the tool: The Follow Your World application!

As always, these are but a few examples of the types of features that can be seen and discovered in our latest batch of published imagery. Happy exploring!

High Resolution Aerial Updates:
Fresno, CA; Huntington, WV; Laredo, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Manchester, NH; San Francisco Peninsula, CA; Salem, OR; Soldotna, AK; Southbend, IN; Sumter, SC; Victoria, TX.

Countries/Regions receiving High Resolution Satellite Updates:
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Ghana, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St. Helena, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia.

These updates are now available in both Google Maps and Google Earth. To get a complete picture of where we updated imagery, download this KML for viewing in Google Earth.

China targets illegal maps

Yes, it is not a mistake. Maps can be “illegal”. That is, only in countries that have in place a licensing regime – such as China. The aim is to remove from the web maps that have “political mistakes” (I presume it refers mainly to representation of borders and “territories”) and those that disclose State secrets (I remember this rule from the old communist country of my origin, where city maps had big holes where the industrial zones were located). Well, that’s one way to achieve consistency in mapping data across the whole country, just hope no one will have similar ideas in Australia!

What’s really interesting, are statistics quoted by the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping: it “…uncovered 1,058 cases of illegal mapping services, including more than 30 relating to foreign organisations and military”, “…3,686 websites out of 41,670 web mapping service websites were found to contain political mistakes, and more than 200 websites were closed”. Mapping must be quite popular there, but that’s China. I wonder what would be the numbers for Australia (total websites of course, not closures!).

On a related topic, Chinese government is not the only one censoring online content. Google created this interesting map that shows world wide statistics about “Government requests directed to Google and YouTube” to remove content from services, or provide information about users of services and products.