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Trail of Tears and Dalai Lama Escape

Social Google Earth
The announcement of Google Earth changed the landscape of mapping as we know it. With the ability to see the world in a more realistic and up-to-date fashion, people can find many things virtually before searching it in the real world.

However, there is a lack of historical information related to social issues including the Dalai Lama's escape into India, and the Trail of Tears. This project aims to fill Google Earth with data that is usually not valued in the commercial arena.

It is my belief, that a record and memory of the past is crucial towards our goal of creating a world where everyone has human rights. What better canvas that Google Earth to draw the scars of our past so as not to repeat these accidents.

The project innocently began while playing with Google Earth and looking at an old house that we used to live in. As I thought about this trace in my life, I began to think of more serious histories others had. Furthermore, the lines that people trace on this world began to fascinate me. Google Earth not only allows you to create paths on the virtual planet, but it also allows for placement of images. As a computer graphics artist interested in social good, it was a natural flow to do a work about the Dalai Lama and submit it to the Google Data server. Imagine trying to plan a trip to the nearest restaurant as compared to trying to plan a trip to save your life.

This led to other journeys of escape including the "Trail of Tears"...a sad march of Native Americans that had to leave their home. Note the smaller footprint at the end of the journey. I hope to continue to develop this project and perhaps find a way to easily crowd source more data points including more recent events in the Middle East. It appears that the Google Earth API is easy to use, and would help automate this current manual process.

Future projects:
Who owns land...and why? (How does one own land that was never owned in the first place.)

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