03/22/2012 12:47 pm ET Updated Mar 23, 2012

Google Unveils Amazon Rainforest Street View Project (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Google has already expanded its Street View service to give the Internet awesome views of Stone Henge, Antartica, and ancient Japanese caves. Now, on World Forest Day, they've taken the service one step further to give users a rare glimpse into the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

Stitching together more than 50,000 still images of a 30-mile stretch of land along the Rio Negro river, the new Google Maps expansion gives users panoramic views of shores, forests and villages in a reserve area near Manaus, the most populous city in the Amazon.

The project, nearly nine-months in the making, is a collaboration between Google and the Foundation for a Sustainable Amazon.

To get the images, Google used a bicycle-based camera system known as a trike and mounted it to a boat, according to a post on the company's blog.

Across the world, a similar trike below the surface of the ocean is busy capturing thousands of underwater images for Google's upcoming Great Barrier Reef "SeaView" project, which Google previewed earlier this year.

Check out Google's behind-the-scenes footage of their Amazon operation above and some sample images in the slideshow below.



Amazon Pics