Holocaust Museum, Google Launch Mapping Effort

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The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Google Inc. Tuesday jointly unveiled a new online mapping initiative aimed at educating users about genocide. The effort was completed just days before Sunday's 2007 Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, which is set aside to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

The first project under the Museum's Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative will include photographs, data and eyewitness testimony from a number of sources about the crisis in the Darfur region of the Sudan. The information is now available on the Google Earth Web site.

This content, being linked together for the first time, was posted today in the Google Earth global awareness section.

The Crisis in Darfur project will allow the more than 200 million users of the Google Earth mapping service to visualize and better understand the genocide in Darfur today, the museum said.

"When it comes to responding to genocide, the world's record is terrible," said Sara Bloomfield, director of the Holocaust museum in Washington. "We hope this important initiative with Google will make it that much harder for the world to ignore those who need us the most."

Content for the Crisis in Darfur project comes from the U.S. State Department, nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations, photographers and the Holocaust museum.

Users can zoom into the region and view more than 16,000 damaged and destroyed villages and the remnants of more than 100,000 homes, schools and other structures destroyed by militia and Sudanese forces, according to the museum.

The museum also announced the creation of a similar mapping project on Holocaust history. The museum said it is using Google Earth to map key historic Holocaust sites with historical content from its collections.

To access the Crisis in Darfur project, users must download the free Google Earth application and then fly over Africa on the mapping service.

This story, "Holocaust Museum, Google Launch Mapping Effort" was originally published by Computerworld.

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