Holocaust Museum teams with Google Earth to show Darfur destruction

Thursday, July 30th, 2009


U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

has always been out front in using new technologies to tell the story of what happened to the Jews in World War II. And it has for several years been a leader in trying to focus world attention on the continuing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, in the belief that one important way to honor the slaughtered Jews of the Holocaust is to prevent genocide in today’s world.

This week the Museum announced a new initiative combining those interests.

The Museum has supplied new data to Google Earth, the Web-based mapping and space photography project, showing that more than 3300 villages have been damaged or destroyed in the Darfur, mostly between 2003  and 2005 – more than twice the number identified in previous U.S. government estimates.

The good news, if you can call it that: the “level of destruction has decreased in the past few years,” according to a press release.

How did the Museum get the data? Through “recent analysis of high resolution satellite imagery, released by the Humanitarian Information Unit of the U.S. Department of State in July 2009,” according to the release.

With the help of the Museum, Google Earth will also offer “before and after” satellite images of the destruction in the African nation.

Providing the most accurate information about the appalling carnage in Darfur is critical to keeping the world focused on on the continuing crisis, Museum officials believe.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.