Already, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has been using Google Earth to call attention to atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan. When users scan over Darfur, they see icons of flames representing destroyed villages and of tents for refugee camps. Clicking on one opens a window with details and links on how to help.
The U.N. Environmental Program, meanwhile, has used the software to show areas of environmental destruction. The Jane Goodall Institute shows locations of its research on chimpanzees and African deforestation. A Brazilian Indian tribe is working on ways to help stop loggers and miners from deforesting the jungle and digging for gold.
"There's nothing like the power of information to make people understand the urgency of action," said Kathy Bushkin Calvin, executive vice president for the U.N. Foundation.