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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Gombe


In the Jane Goodall Institute Roots and Shoots online class I'm taking we had an opportunity to explore a Google street view map of Gombe National Park in Tanzania where Dr Jane did her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees.

I was excited to see lichen in the opening screen. It looks like shield lichen from this distance.

Street view is an immersive format that lets you see a 360° scene, including up and down. Roots and Shoots also offers a Google cardboard experience and additional activities about Gombe at http://rootsandshoots.org/streetview 

Maps are fascinating to me as I believe they are to all explorers. Google has brought us into a new immersive dimension with street view maps. You get to be there without actually being there.

And yet, I'm always concerned about the exotic and far making the familiar and near seem less. Less interesting, less fun - and most worrisome - less important.

It is none of these, of course. How do we transfer that sense of wonder and excitement to our local place? Gombe is exciting to us precisely because it is novel. Perhaps looking at our local place with fresh eyes is key.