Monday, June 05, 2006

Google and Earth Day Network Promote 'A Summer of Green'

The news of Google's first mash-up of its Google Maps service has been around for several days now, and the green blogosphere is buzzing with the news that the 800-lb gorilla of search has decided to "go green" with this project. I held off posting about it for a few days, mainly because I saw Google had partnered with the Earth Day Network to create it's "Summer of Green" site, and wanted to see what I could find out from them. According to the materials they sent me,
Google Maps Summer of Green enables users to discover green travel options by featuring guided virtual video tours of environmentally friendly destinations, including organic spas, hotels, restaurants, eco car rentals, and green family friendly activities, such as nature museums and horseback riding outposts.

These Google Maps Summer of Green mash-ups use the Google Maps API to create an overlay of video clips on the city maps, capturing green locations recommended by Earth Day Network, the premier global environmental advocacy organization.

"Earth Day Network is building an army of green consumers in this country," said Kathleen Rogers, president of EDN. "We are pleased to work with Google to encourage eco-tourism and green travel habits this summer which will ultimately move us all closer to a greener, safer America."
The site features five hot travel destinations (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando and San Francisco), and maps out green attractions in each city. Each location has its own video clip, which describes the appeal to greenies. And if you're not heading for one of those cities, you can search out environmentally-responsible tourism options anywhere in the US. With high gas prices and weather patterns showing the effects of global warming, Google and EDN may take a little heat from some quarters on this, but it's good to see someone promoting more environmentally-friendly travel. Next step: show people the greenest way to get there...

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