As we populated the Google Earth Conservation layer with more and more content, we quickly realized that the map was becoming too cluttered. You’ll remember back in February that this was resolved by “hiding” projects, blogs and points at a lower “altitude” in Google Earth, which simply meant that you had to zoom in to see this content.
Switching over to a “live” layer meant that we lost the ability to “ hide”content at different altitudes for a little while, but you’ll see that the much cleaner look for the layer has returned now, along with points and blogs. Thus, when you open the layer and are zoomed far out, you’ll only see countries and protected areas, but just zoom in a little closer and you’ll see projects, points, and blogs pop up.
If you’re looking for specific protected areas or projects – remember that you can also find these by expanding the categories in your “my places” panel. You can also fly to project bubbles from the “project” tabs of protected area and country bubbles, as shown in the example below.
For more on how to use the layer, have a look at the MAPA Introductory video:
Biodiversity hotspots, Endemic Bird Areas and CARPE landscapes added to the layer
In addition to the cleaner layer, we’re also bringing you a whole new category of information on the layer today, collectively called “critical habitats”.
Species are not equally distributed on earth: there are areas that are of special significance because they contain a particular rich diversity of species, or species that have limited ranges and/or are severely threatened. Several organizations have identified such areas (often outside official protected areas) using the best science on offer. There are different types of these ‘critical habitats’ – ranging from the “sites” defined as important bird areas, key biodiversity areas and ramsar sites, to much larger areas spanning landscapes across several countries.
We have now added the first three of these “categories” to the layer: Biodiversity hotspots, Endemic Bird Areas and CARPE landscapes. Read about these areas, the species that make them unique, and the measures taken to protect them. Want to know more? Simply visit the official fact sheets by clicking on the links in the bubbles.
We hope that you enjoy the changes to the layer, and the new content. Please let us know your thoughts! In the mean time, have a look at this video from Conservation International that explains how Biodiversity hotspots are chosen and why they’re important.