The organization, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, was chartered by a unanimous Act of Congress in 1980. Its primary mission is to broaden public understanding of the history of the Holocaust through exhibitions, research and publication, art and artifacts related to the Holocaust, and distribution of education materials and teacher resources. It aims to preserve the memory of those who suffered and encourage visitors to reflect upon the events of the Holocaust and realize their own responsibilities as citizens of a democracy. The purpose of the layer is to increase public awareness, and an introduction is included that details the crisis and has external links to how to get involved. Over the past four years, more than 300,000 people have been killed and 2,500,000 driven from their homes in the Darfur region of western Sudan. Throughout Darfur, more than 1,600 villages have been damaged or completely destroyed. The lives of those displaced still hang in the balance, while violence continues to affect remaining villages across Darfur, as well as the sprawling refugee camps throughout the region and neighboring Chad” (Google, 2010). With this new layer, citizens across the world can view “high-resolution satellite imagery and other critical evidence which was previously accessible only to a limited few” (Google, 2010). Many different options that could be picked: an introduction to the crisis in that area of the world, a highlighting of the Darfur region on the map, photos and stories from the USHMM, and flames indicating which villages were destroyed and which were damaged.
Screenshot of the layer focusing on Darfur
Though the organization does a good job of providing pictures and information about the villages, like when they were damaged or destroyed and how many structures still survived, the historical imagery was not as extensive as hoped. Many of the satellite photos available were taken after the villages were already ravaged, so it was difficult to find a before-and-after comparison. The intended audience for this layer is citizens who are adamant about human rights and spreading democracy and ending oppression or teachers aiming to teach their students through Google Earth. This layer would be very helpful for providing information and actual images for further education about humanitarian causes.
Interactive media of how to use this layer can be found in this video: Google Earth – Crisis in Darfur
Reference: Graham, Michael. (2010). United States Holocaust Museum Crisis in Darfur. Retrieved from http://earth.google.com/outreach/cs_darfur.html.
- By Patricia Lee