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UNHCR and Google Earth unveil programme for humanitarian operations

Summary

Representatives of the UN refugee agency and Google in 2008 unveiled a powerful new online mapping programme that provides an up-close and multifaceted view of some of the world’s major displacement crises and the humanitarian efforts aimed at helping the victims.

The “Google Earth Outreach” programme gives UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies the ability to use Google Earth and Maps to highlight their work on behalf of millions of refugees and other populations of concern in some of the world’s most remote and difficult areas.

Google’s outreach programme provides humanitarian agencies with the skills and resources to use Google Earth and Maps to highlight their work to a mass audience. The agencies can overlay text, audio and video information onto Google Earth in the so-called layers, enabling them to explain and illustrate their humanitarian work to a worldwide audience.