To celebrate the anniversary of naturalist Charles Darwin arriving on the Galapagos Islands, Google has added the famous ecosystem to Street View.
Some of Darwin's most famous work comes from the time he spent in the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago off the Ecuadorian coast. Darwin finches and Darwin island are both named after the prolific scientist, and the long-lived Galapagos tortoise inspired some of his work in his theory of evolution.
He landed there for the first time on 15 September 1835, and to celebrate the 178th anniversary of that momentous occasion, Google has added imagery of the island and its many animal inhabitants to Google Street View.
Over 10 days, the Google Street View team trekked across the volcanic islands, capturing its rich and diverse wildlife. Additional underwater scenes were captured by Catlin Seaview Survey, an Australia-based research team that provides extensive underwater surveys with its SVII underwater camera.
According to Google, though, this won't just give armchair tourists a chance to experience the islands; it will also help researchers and scientists study the Galapagos ecosystem. "One way in which the Charles Darwin Foundation plans to use the Street View imagery for science is by allowing the public to help identify plants and animals observed when navigating through the imagery," Google said. The Charles Darwin Foundation, based on the islands, together with citizen scientist community iNaturalist have released an app to do just that: Darwin for a Day. Users can explore the islands and make observations about the plants and animals they find to share them with the two research bodies.