Traditional land use mapping

Surui Cultural Map

The Surui Cultural Map was created by the Surui tribe, an indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon. This map contains almost 300 culturally significant sites in their rainforest, including historical battles, sacred sites, and places where important animals, trees, and plants are found. Surui youth built this map, taking photos and videos, and collecting stories from their elders (such as from the time before first contact with the modern world) to add rich detail to the map.

Tools used: Google Earth, Spreadsheet Mapper

Ngarluma Ngurra map

The Ngarluma Ngurra map animates and embeds the cultural traditions and histories of the Ngarluma people, an indigenous people of Western Australia, into Google Earth so that you can explore rich content and share with others. This map was a collaboration with Ngarluma elders, a Ngarluma anthropologist, film-makers, photographers, software developers and writers to create a cultural heritage tool for the next generation of Ngarluma people and to preserve and promote Ngarluma culture to broader public.

Tools used: Google Earth, Spreadsheet Mapper, Google Maps Engine

Environmental monitoring

Surui Carbon Project

The Surui have used Open Data Kit and Geo tools to track carbon measurements for their Surui Carbon Project. Open Data Kit is a tool suite that lets you collect data offline in the field with an Android phone, then return and sync with a database, then visualize that data on a map.

Tools used: Open Data Kit, Google Fusion Tables, Google Earth

Public awareness campaigns, education and storytelling


Stz'uminus Storied Placees

The Stz’uminus Storied Places Digital Atlas research project with the Stz’uminus First Nation in Ladysmith builds off an earlier initiative involving the Stz’uminus First Nation and Project REEL Life, which engaged Stz’uminus youth in digital story telling and spawned regular outings where Stz’uminus youth recorded HD video of their Elders. The current research project introduces a focus on Hul’q’umi’num’ place names and works to bring these place-focused videos into digital maps, so community members can continue to listen to the names and stories via desktop computers, laptops, and, particularly, mobile devices.

Tools used: Google MyMaps

Cherokee Journey

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and nonprofit Wild South to developed this Google Earth tour, an interactive virtual atlas of Cherokee historical geography, including photography, oral history video clips, and historical data such as the ancient trail system and towns of the Cherokee. This material will be used in local school curricula as well as on tourist websites, centers and more.

Tools used: Google Earth

Traditional Cultures Project's Van Gujjar Migration story

Ethnographic storytelling of the North Indian Van Gujjar nomadic tribe's migration, done using the Google Earth API. This 3d interactive story allows you to travel virtually along the migration route and get a sense of the terrain these buffalo herders have to traverse.

Tools used: Google Earth, Google Earth API

He Waiata o Whangarei Google Earth tour

A virtual tour through the heritage trail in the ancestral Maori lands of the iwi and hapu of Whangārei. Read more about the Whangārei here.

Tools used: Google Earth

Adding to Google’s base maps


Arctic Mapping Project

The Inuit land claims nonprofit Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) teamed up with Google Earth Outreach to add to Google’s base maps of remote Inuit communities in Canada’s Arctic. In Cambridge Bay and Iqaluit, NTI hosted events to engage the community in using Google Map Maker to add and update the Google Map of the place where they live. Google and NTI also worked together to collect indoor and outdoor Street View imagery of the communities and their culturally important places, such as heritage centers, libraries, and even a traditional igloo built by a community elder.

Tools used: Street View, Google Map Maker