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Google Trekker Puts Remote Parts Of Ireland On The Map

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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Ireland’s tourism authority is using Google Trekker to capture remote and beautiful areas that Google Street View can’t get to

Ireland’s tourism agency, Fáilte Ireland, has borrowed the ‘Google Trekker’ to capture many of Ireland’s remotest tourism beauty spots which haven’t yet been captured by Google Street View.

The Google Trekker is being accessed through Google’s ‘Trekker Loan Programme’ and can be used to capture Street View imagery in remote places where the car can’t go. Over the next three months, Fáilte Ireland will capture footage of many places people have never been able to see online before and will literally put some of Ireland’s most beautiful sights on the map.

Cliffs of Moher, County ClareHidden trails

The Trekker is a wearable backpack, with a camera system on top, designed by Google. It can be walked through pedestrian walkways or trails on foot, and automatically gathers images as it goes. Starting along the Wild Atlantic Way this week, Fáilte Ireland employees will capture sights such as islands like Inishbofin, Achill, the Blaskets and Dun Aengus on Inish Mor as well as other significant destinations such as Sliabh Liag, Croagh Patrick and Mizen Head.

Fáilte Ireland will also use the Trekker to capture many of the highlights of ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’, including the narrow streets of medieval towns, the grounds of stately homes and iconic attractions such as Newgrange. The specialised camera will also be used to capture parts of the Dublin experience, particularly many scenic walks in places such as Howth Head, Sandycove and the Royal Canal.

Daragh Anglim, Fáilte Ireland’s head of digital, 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.”

The Trekker is the newest piece of equipment in Google’s fleet of Street View technologies including the Car, Trike, Snowmobile and others.

Commenting on the advantages this technology can bring to tourism, Laurian Clemence, communications manager with Google, 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 footage captured over the next few weeks will be processed by Google and made available in early 2016.

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