Google Street View is now available for the Amazon rainforestS

Last summer, Google took its Street View cameras to the Amazon, looking to capture the same 360-degree vistas that have made the technology so useful in cities all over the world. Yesterday, the project went live. There goes the rest of your week.

You can now wander around the Amazonian jungle — exploring its rivers, forests, and even remote villages — all from your computer. Says Google:

Take a virtual boat ride down the main section of the Rio Negro, and float up into the smaller tributaries where the forest is flooded. Stroll along the paths of Tumbira, the largest community in the Reserve, or visit some of the other communities who invited us to share their lives and cultures. Enjoy a hike along an Amazon forest trail and see where Brazil nuts are harvested. You can even see a forest critter if you look hard enough!

Click through to the Amazon section of the Street View Gallery to get an idea of what's available to explore, or start up your copy of Google Earth and get up close and personal with South America's Amazon Basin. (Looks like you'll need Google Earth version 6 to explore.)

[Google Earth Blog]