In celebration of Geography Awareness Week, Google today released new Featured Content for Google Earth that connects users to information about the history of the world through one of the largest private map collections in the US. Map overlays from the David Rumsey collection, which integrate historic cartographic masterpieces dating as far back as the 17th century, have been brought to life for the first time using advanced digitization techniques and innovative software tools in Google Earth. Also available with this release in partnership with National Geographic is an interactive geography quiz that enables users to test their knowledge of this year’s Geography Awareness Week focus region of Africa.

“We are excited to partner with National Geographic to celebrate and encourage the study of geography with Google Earth,” said John Hanke, director of Google Earth and Maps. “Our work with David Rumsey to bring some of the finest privately held historical maps to users worldwide further demonstrates how Google Earth can serve as a dynamic tool for geographic discovery.”

“National Geographic has been exploring and inspiring people to care about the planet for more than a century,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s Executive Vice President for Mission Programs.
“Today, anyone hooked into the Web can explore any place on Earth at the click of a mouse. Caring begins with seeing, and there’s no better way to see a place than to be there. So we know new geographic tools such as Google Earth and the National Geographic-ESRI MapMachine mean better stewardship of our world’s extraordinary places, animals, and cultures.”

“I am thrilled to be able to share maps from my collection with users worldwide in Google Earth,” said David Rumsey. “As a longtime maps enthusiast, it is wonderful to see the cutting edge technology of Google Earth introduce people to the geographic history of our world in a new and innovative way. The cartographers who made these historical maps hundreds of years ago would be amazed and pleased to see their treasures in Google Earth.”

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