Chimpanzees in context

Jane Goodall and her team are still at it, observing chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, but now they, like every other primate on the face of the earth, are also blogging. What’s interesting, even beyond the bit about the chimps, is the fact that the blog appears (primarily) in Google Earth rather on a web page. This allows you to see exactly where Emily saw Fifi’s eighth child Flirt. In a more general sense, it answers the question “Okay, I know chimpanzees come from Africa, but where in Africa? It’s a big place, after all.” Seeing the Gombe preserve set among the mountains of along the shores of Lake Tanganyika and then reading about camp life provides more tangible context than the maps in National Geographic ever did. Plus it’s got news you can use: if you visit, put your shoes in the “large cage where we hang the laundry… because if you leave those things outside unprotected, you will almost certainly lose them to a crafty baboon or chimp.”

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