The stunning scenery of Ireland’s countryside and remote islands will soon be available for all to see on Google Street View.
The internet giant has agreed to rent its Google Trekker to Fáilte Ireland so that the more difficult to reach areas of the country can be showcased to the world.
Fáilte Ireland have access to the wearable backpack camera system for three months and are hopeful that the images they capture will boost the tourism industry.
Google Street View has revolutionised the internet over the past decade. People anywhere can now see streets and houses on the other side of the world at the touch of a button.
Google want to extend this service to more remote areas, which are inaccessible to the Google Street View vehicles.
They have developed the Google Trekker to enable them to do this. It is a sophisticated camera mounted on to a backpack that can be worn by walkers and hikers. Other similar devices have been created with cameras attached to specialised vehicles such as snowmobiles and even camels.
The cameras constantly gather information about their surroundings which can be later edited and displayed online. The devices have already been used to capture images of landscapes such as deserts, mountains and rivers.
Thanks to the Trekker Ireland’s glorious countryside will also be included in the Street View libraries. Fáilte Ireland plan to record images from many of the country’s top attractions, such as Newgrange and Croagh Patrick.
The Trekker will also be taken through the narrow streets and alleyways of the medieval towns in the ‘Ancient East’, as well as many of the scenic routes around Dublin.
Fáilte Ireland digital expert Daragh Anglim said: “Six out of ten visitors to Ireland last year cited the internet as an influence when choosing the country as a destination. Three quarters of visitors told us that they use the internet to plan their itinerary here before arriving. The use of Google Trekker is therefore a welcome addition to Fáilte Ireland’s significant engagement with digital and social media to promote Ireland.
”When finally captured and uploaded, we hope that millions worldwide get to explore very beautiful and attractive images of some of our remotest parts through Google street view. We also hope that these images inspire many viewers to subsequently make the crucial decision to come over here to see the real thing.”
Google is equally excited about the prospect of adding Ireland’s countryside to Street View. Laurian Clemence, Communications Manager, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Fáilte Ireland in order to bring Street View imagery to an area of the world that is rich in heritage and known for its outstanding natural beauty; which anyone across the world will be able to access directly from their smartphones or computer via Google Maps, and encourage many to visit.”
The images will be captured over the next three months and then processed by Google. They are expected to be available to view online in early 2016.