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Google announces Yann Arthus-Bertrand layer in Google Earth

California, USA, 11 December 2007 – Google Earth has unveiled almost 500 photographs by French photographer and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand under the layer called “Earth from Above”.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand has been taking photographs of the earth for the last 15 years. Arthus and his non-profit organisation GoodPlanet.org aim to promote environmental sustainability by highlighting the beauty of the planet and the issues it faces through his photography.

In a video released by Google on this occasion, Arthus said “I discovered that aerial photography explained things that you can’t see from the ground; it gave another way of viewing the landscape and that these photographs have become absolutely essential. These photographs now serve to make us think about the impact we are having on earth today.” The video can be accessed on YouTube here

The Earth from Above will be available in 14 languages: French, English, German, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Czech and Russian. The layer will be regularly updated with new photographs plus facts and figures by GoodPlanet.org, using data from various agencies around the world.

These photographs are also available as Google Gadget. By adding the “Earth from Above” gadget to iGoogle, users can discover a new photograph each day and pinpoint its location on Google Maps.