SAN FRANCISCO (June 26, 2012) - The California Academy of Sciences and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in collaboration have launched their first Google Earth-based film and interactive tour, “A Global Water Story.” Leveraging technology from Google Earth, the film plunges users into water issues relevant at global and regional scale in the American Southwest and beyond.
Access to freshwater is taken for granted by many people in developed countries, but dwindling resources, growing populations, and an increasingly variable climate threaten freshwater availability around the world. For the first time, a Google Earth-based film and tour will bring together information about global environmental processes that affect freshwater supplies, including geography and climate, and will reveal how humans have adapted these natural systems to thrive in unlikely places. Utilizing the power of Google Earth, the film takes viewers from the Himalayas and the Middle East to the arid southwest of North America, exploring freshwater systems in detail—as well as the innovative solutions people have developed to make the most of available resources. An associated interactive tour encourages users to explore the story at their own pace by clicking on an interactive map. Informational pop-up windows about water conservation projects around the world, as well as those close to home, will inspire users to learn about how they can take action.
“A Global Water Story” originally premiered as a live presentation at the Gates Planetarium at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in May 2011 as part of the Worldviews Network, a three-year environmental literacy project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With a grant from Google Earth Outreach, the Worldviews Network production teams at the California Academy of Sciences and Denver Museum of Nature & Science joined with German media agency Visuamundo to translate the planetarium story to the Google Earth platform.
Users can download the eight-minute film for free by visiting the Worldviews Network website or take a deeper look at the issues by downloading the interactive tour to explore the story on their own in Google Earth.