Google Earth films Darfur horrors

Who can fail to be impressed by the stunning satellite imagery of Google Earth, which has recently filmed close-up shots of Darfur, showing villages which have been destroyed by ethnic cleansing.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hope it will help people understand the crisis and be more willing to respond.

At least 200,000 people have been killed and two million displaced during the four-year conflict between rebel groups and pro-government militia in the region.

Anyone logging into Google Earth should see a welcome screen with a marker highlighting the Darfur area.

It’s always been too easy to say in the past, “not in my back yard”. Now the consequences of this war can be seen on your screen and no longer ignored.


  1. Anonymous

    For all the talks and agreements the US help negotiate with the fractured government the American people have seen no substantial amount of aid flowing into Darfur. The last I read USAID was paying a coordinator $1000 a month to work in a village and only a few were hired. This is not much assistance when you figure our US oil companies have been in Southern Sudan since approximately 2003 with no conflict issues. As a matter of fact the companies contributed to the increase flow of oil which exceeded the barrels of oil originally projected for the year 2005. .

    In January 2007 another US oil company hit the ground in Southern Sudan working fast and furious to get their rigs pumping oil. Let all the US oil companies operating in Southern Sudan pay for its recovery for exploiting their natural resources under holocaust conditions.

  2. Anonymous

    US oil companies are profiterringthis bad to enter Sudan knowing crimes cpomared to the holocaust are being committed pay the price of progress. US oil companies have a social responsibility to honor their own core values. Contributing to the people of the country not the few getting rich off oil revenues. Think outside the box. We know here in the US government does not take care of its people. This is the lesson we learned from Katrina. NGO’s are not adequately funded or trained in postwar logistics.

    US oil companies risk analysis set up a research division to work at the grass roots level in postwar countries. The people want to be guided and empowered to solve their own problems. The US has an agenda that does not fit every cultural life style in a conflicted country. We have a duty not to exploit or profiteer which has been done in Iraq and on the backs of women and children appears to be happening in Sudan.

  3. Ellee, I’m posting a link to this article on my site. This is extremely interesting.


  4. I’ve got my doubts about how useful Google Earth is when it comes to documenting ‘genocide’ in Darfur.

    I had a good hard look at the links you gave us, and to be honest, there isn’t that much real evidence that can be seen – indeed, most of the villages picked out by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum cannot be seen in any great detail whatsoever.

    For example, right now I’m looking at a town called Kulkul, in Darfur, which according to USHMM, 6 out of 28 ‘structures’ have been destroyed. However, when you zoom in to Kulkul to visually confirm this for yourself, you cannot see anything of substance, which means we can only take USHMM’s word for it.

    If you zoom up from Kulkul to an eye altitude of 13km, you will see some 40 ‘destroyed’ villages on the map – none of these villages can be seen with any detail – but don’t get me wrong here, I did see 2 villages elsewhere in western Darfur in great detail, but again, it near impossible to tell if what you are looking at is a burnt out village, or just a few trees.

    So, I think it’s safe to say that Google Earth’s ‘evidence’ of ‘genocide’ in Darfur is dodgy at best, at worse; it’s based purely on hearsay.

    Nevertheless, I wholeheartedly agree with Northwing, Google Earth is a fantastic resource, even if the ‘evidence’ and details on the ground are not entirely self-evident.

  5. I do hope this gesture by Google will spark some action.

  6. 200.000 killed by the Arab Janjaweed. Awful stuff. Makes Iraq look like a childrens tea-party

  7. I agree with newmania. What saddens me is there seems to be deliberate inaction on the wests behalf.

    (Inaction can make you just as guilty as the man who pulls the trigger).

    But perhaps this is what the west wants?

  8. Hi Ellee,

    Google Earth is awesome as a resource isn’t it though I can honestly say I have spent many hours doing almost nothing productive with it (I class my ‘discovery’ of a cessna pleasure flight caught mid-air over the Nazca Lines in Peru a bit of a scoop though –,-75.115768&spn=0.00398,0.006185&t=k&om=1
    I does make you realise how small the world has become. Uncomfortably small as far as Darfur is concerned, and the World’s inaction.

  9. Thanks for highlighting this about Google Earth. I’m sure few people know.

    Thanks also for your kind comments in my Journal.

  10. electro-kevin

    The issue with modern communications and satellite imagery is that it gives each of us the false impression that we, as individuals, are far more important than we actually are. Britain is a busted flush as far as military interventionism is concerned – we are overstretched both logisitically and morally and can barely contain the disorder on our own streets.

  11. It is horrifying and the world is just standing by and letting it happen. We don’t have the excuse of “I didn’t know” any more.

  12. 400,000 say some NGO`s I agree that the failure to act against the genocidal Arab Muslims has been shameful but then with everyone screaming holocaust everytime Israel defends its border there is no space for real problems.

  13. 400,000 say some NGO`s I agree that the failure to act against the genocidal Arab Muslims has been shameful but then with everyone screaming holocaust everytime Israel defends its border there is no space for real problems.
    Hard to know what go do though being concerned doesn

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