Photos, Video Expose Darfur Atrocities in Google Earth

Stefan Lovgren
for National Geographic News
April 25, 2007

Part of the Digital Places Special News Series
More Digital Places Stories>>

For the past two weeks users of Google Earth have been able to get an up-close and personal view of the violence unfolding in Sudan's Darfur region.

By zooming in on satellite images of Darfur, users can see direct evidence of destroyed villages and hear from survivors through videos, maps, and photos assembled by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and other groups.

Michael Graham is coordinator of the Washington, D.C., museum's Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative and the founder of the Crisis in Darfur project.

"This presents a story for people, a visual account that is very personal with photos and testimonies, while at the same time showing the scope of the genocide that is happening in Darfur," Graham said.

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur and a reported 2.5 million have been driven from their homes since ethnically African rebels there took up arms against the Arab-dominated central government in 2003.

(Watch a special video series about the conflict in Sudan.)

Armed militias known as Janjaweed have been accused of burning villages and raping and killing non-Arab civilians, acts the government officially denies involvement with.

On Monday U.S. officials again pushed for a United Nations resolution that would establish a large peacekeeping force in Darfur to protect civilians, a move the Sudanese government has so far rejected.

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Graham came up with the idea for the Darfur project after Google launched its virtual-globe software in 2005.

"We had all this information [about Darfur] from human rights groups, the State Department, and others," Graham said.

Continued on Next Page >>




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