Internationally renowned animal biologist Jane Goodall and Google have praised recent advances in mapping technology that have helped local communities across the world become more sustainable and aware of their natural surroundings. Goodall, who is known for her work with chimpanzees in Africa, said that through Google Earth, environmental research has increased in efficacy.
"Today, the mapping technology available to all of us is completely changing the potential for animal and environmental research," said Goodall, who first began her animal research in 1960.
"You have much more power at your fingertips, and you don't even have to leave your home. Tools like Google Earth let you visit the shores of Lake Tanganyika with just a few keystrokes," she wrote in a blog post published by Google.
She also gave the example of how recent technology, including the use of smartphones, has been instrumental in local villages across Africa in monitoring forest habitats and the effects of human expansion on chimpanzee populations.
With climate change hitting headlines across the world this week as the United Nations issued a new report suggesting that hundreds of millions of people will be affected by climate change this century, Goodall and Google believe that these new technologies can help to "foster positive change."
She praised the Roots & Shoots program aimed at connecting youth across the world with the tools necessary to help solve community problems, increase math and science skills and helping to develop new leaders for environmental change and awareness.
"Today, Roots & Shoots is launching a new community mapping tutorial for young people to help them use digital mapping technology to identify and address needs in their community," Goodall said of the new initiative.
It comes as Africa has seen massive mobile penetration and broadband growth over the past few years, with more and more mobile towers being established in remote areas of the continent. This has enabled more and more Africans to be connected with the outside world.
Goodall and Google believe that these types of new technological advances can help to reshape the world and educate more on the necessity of helping to preserve the natural biodiversity that is being threatened by human expansion and other environmental dangers.