Cape Town based travel company Drive South Africa, has partnered with Google through the Google Street View camera loan program to capture 360-degree Street View imagery of South Africa’s top wilderness, cultural and historic sites for Google Maps, including a number of CapeNature’s trails.
Each “off-road” location was captured with Google’s Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack topped with a camera system designed by Google. The Street View Trekker backpack is walked through pedestrian walkways or trails on foot, and automatically gathers images as it goes.
The project forms part of Google’s Street View Camera Loan Program, which encourages anyone to apply to borrow the 360-degree camera technology and help map the planet. A team of nature-loving South Africans, in partnership with Google Street View have released a large collection of 360-degree imagery of the country’s wilderness areas, including many sites of natural, cultural and historical significance in all nine provinces of South Africa.
The project has gained support from various tourism stakeholders: Wesgro – the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, CapeNature, SANParks, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and lead project partner South African Tourism.
“We are very excited to back this opportunity to deliver the real South Africa to people all over the world via Google’s widely used platforms,” said Margie Whitehouse, Chief Marketing Officer of SA Tourism.
Andre Van Kets, co-founder of Drive South Africa, that headed up the #TrekSouthAfrica campaign sent us the following video which tells the story of how over 200 nature-loving South Africans, including CapeNature volunteers and field rangers, united to put the country’s beautiful and diverse natural heritage onto Google Maps.
Weighing in at approximately 18 kilograms, the Google Street View Trekker backpack has 15 five-megapixel cameras and takes a full panoramic photo every 2.5 seconds, roughly one photo per step taken by the person wearing the camera.