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Google Street View captures Canada's polar bears in conservation effort

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Google has taken its Street View cameras out to plenty of unconventional places, but its most recent venture brings to the world more than just a pretty view. Through a partnership with Polar Bears International, Google has collected imagery of Churchill, Manitoba in Canada — a location that the conservation group says is home to one of the largest polar bear populations in the world. While the partnership resulted in a few incredible shots of polar bears wandering the vast tundra, the more important addition to Google Maps' archives is simply the land: conservationists will now be able to compare future imagery to today's Street View imagery to help determine how the bears' climate is changing as it's warped by global warming.

The sights of Churchill are available to explore over at a custom Google Maps page. If you want to learn more about the project you can head over to Popular Science, which went behind the scenes with the mapping team as it headed into the tundra.