Google's Street View is busily chronicling as much of the planet as it's legally allowed to, and since it's started running out of streets, Google is having to get creative about the areas that the company immortalizes. Next up, whether or not it has any actual streets, is the Amazon.
Northwestern Brazil is home to the Rio Negro River and a big chunk of the Amazon. Google is teaming up with a local non-profit conservation organization called the Foundation for a Sustainable Amazon to create virtual 360 degree panorama tours of both the rivers themselves and the communities surrounding them. The company is also going to be leaving a bunch of Street View equipment behind in the jungle, so that locals can take over the process and continue adding new imagery to Google's database.
Google is currently out in the field right now, in fact, boating up and down the river and pedaling silly little Street View tricycles along dirt paths, but the imagery won't be available for you to ogle on Google Maps and Google Earth "soon."
In other news from Google, it's now possible to see weather conditions directly on Google Maps. You can turn on little icons showing current conditions above cities, which is useful but unimpressive, but the super cool thing is that Google Maps now displays live cloud coverage thanks to data from the U.S. Naval Research Lab. It's satellite imagery, so it's not going to tell you whether there's a cloud above your house or not, but it's definitely good enough to give you a little extra warning if there's a major hurricane heading your way.