CAMERA-READY sheep are helping to put the North Atlantic Faroe Islands group firmly on the world tourism map.
For years the isolated Faroe Islands archipelago of 18 mountainous islands halfway between Iceland and Scotland has been left without Google’s Street View — the technology in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views from positions along many streets in the world.
The main industry is fishing and there a population of about 50,000 people, but with 80,000 sheep roaming free on the islands, Durita Andreassen from the Visit Faroe Islands had an innovative idea to solve the Google View problem and boost tourism.
The original name for the Faroe Islands – færeyjar – in the Old Norse language meant ‘Sheep Islands’, so she turned to the islands’ most common inhabitants. Durita spent recent months mapping out her beautiful home country using sheep equipped with solar-powered cameras, creating her very own SheepView360.
Durita created her own version of Google Street View for the islands… and then Google decided to give her a helping hand. Following the launch of her project, thousands of people urged Google to make the Faroe Islands a part of Google Street View and their efforts have now proven fruitful. The Google Maps team went to the Faroe Islands to help the islanders create their own Street View.
Now with the support of the islands’ Street View Camera Loan Program – the Faroese people are equipped with a Street View Trekker and a fleet of 360 cameras to help capture even more, though slightly less woolly, Street View imagery of the archipelago.
Durita said the project was started so Google Street View could help share the beautiful country with the world, and with all the people who do not have the means to visit.
“During the process, we fell in love with our own woolly version of Street View, so we are absolutely delighted that Google has decided to help us continue on the same path,” she said.
Now Faroese people and tourists visiting the Faroe Islands create Street View using sheep, bikes, backpacks, cars, kayaks, ships, and even wheelbarrows. The Visit Faroe Islands office in Tórshavn and Atlantic Airways at the airport is lending out Google cameras and anyone is welcome to lend a hand in the exciting project.
“We are delighted that we now have all the equipment, knowledge and support from Google that we need to continue to develop our own unique version of Google Street View.” Visit Faroe Islands director Guðrið Højgaard said.
For more on SheepView 360 and the Faroe Islands click here.