Google Earth Helps Discover Our Hominid Ancestor in South Africa

According to the Official Google Blog, Google Earth played a role in the discovery of a new hominid fossil in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa. “The discovery is one of the most significant palaeoanthropological discoveries in recent times, revealing at least two partial hominid skeletons in remarkable condition, dating to between 1.78 and 1.95 million years,” Michael Jones, Chief Technology Advocate at Google, says in a post.

Image representing Google Earth as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

So, how did all this come about?

Jones explains, “Back in March 2008, Professor Lee Berger from Witswatersrand University in Johannesburg started to use Google Earth to map various known caves and fossil deposits identified by him and his colleagues over the past several decades, as it seemed the ideal platform by which to share information with other scientists. In addition, he also used Google Earth to locate new fossil deposits by learning to identify what cave sites looked like in satellite images.”

Check out what Jones has to say in the YouTube video embedded in the post.

Hominid ancestor discovery aided by Google Earth

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