Google Earth got a whole slew of new layers this morning, one of which stands out — literally. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum‘s layers documenting the genocide in Darfur are turned on by default. It’s an overtly political statement on the part of Google, and one I wholeheartedly applaud.
USHMM has been working on bringing this content into Google Earth for a while now, and it is the kind of information that is best published to a geobrowser: Burned villages, photographs, refugee camps, testimonies… All these atrocities happened somewhere, but no longer is this place abstract. Google Earth’s high resolution backdrop makes it all immediate.
The default layers link to fuller documentation, with more graphic photographs and with precise refugee numbers, which you can also manually download here. Just go take a look. It’s compelling. You will soon find more information on USHMM’s site here, and if you want to get involved, go here.