Google Mapping Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas

Understanding the obstacles in mapping these unique cities-within-a-city

From a foreigner’s (or even many Brazilians’) perspective, it’s easy to label the “favelas” of Rio de Janeiro as slums run by drug cartels, racked with crime, violence and poverty—and terrorized by police. Despite many outer communities still lacking access to stable water and sanitation networks, there’s been a recent shift in breaking down historic barriers for favela residents to fully participate in—and be embraced—by …