Feb 252009
 

I need to teach the Aral Sea to a GCSE class tomorrow. Aware of schemes to save part of the Aral, I used the Time Slider feature in Google Earth 5 to check the imagery for the area. Amazingly, the  whole ecological catastrophe is covered by the imagery database. I made a brief  video to illustrate:


Shrinking Aral Sea from Noel Jenkins on Vimeo.

Google Earth isn’t just an essential resource for teaching the Aral Sea issue, it’s a powerful political tool and students should be aware of this. Governments are becoming increasingly accountable in the face of unequivocal evidence from the Google database which has revealed slum clearance in Zimbabwe and genocide in Darfur. The Aral Sea crisis was kept secret for many years, and while Google Earth reveals the astonishing rate of evaporation, it is interesting to note that the current image (if it is indeed the most recent) does appear to show a slight reversal of fortunes.

Finally, could it be that Street View is coming to the UK in March?  I’ve heard a rumour 😉