Google imagery of some of our most famous waterway locations is available for the first time today. Generated by Google Street View’s latest piece of technology, the Trekker, the images will allow anyone with an internet connection to virtually stroll along our canals and rivers – no matter where they are.
We were the first organisation in the UK to take the Trekker on loan from Google. From August until November last year staff from the Trust captured footage of over 130 miles of waterways, which will now be available online so that people can make a virtual trip along a variety of waterway spots.
The Trekker – a four-foot, 40lbs backpack, fitted with a 15-angle lens camera, taking 360 degree pictures every 2.5 seconds – is designed to capture imagery in public locations that the Street View car and Trike can’t typically reach. The narrow waterway footpaths and bridges proved ideal places to trial the technology, which has also captured views of the Grand Canyon, the world’s tallest building, and some of the world’s highest peaks.
In all, 20 staff and volunteers from the Trust trekked across 72 locations around the country, including the some of our most idyllic, hidden and popular places.
Imagery now available includes:
The locations captured by the Trekker include many of those we're recommending as a Readymade Waterway day for families looking for inspiring places to visit this spring and summer.
With more organisations globally loaning the Trekker, ‘armchair explorers’ can view more of these remote and hard-to-reach places than ever before.
Wendy Hawk, partnership manager at the Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be the first people in the UK to loan the Trekker from Google. The nation’s canals were cutting-edge technology when they were built 200-years ago, so it’s been fascinating to see them in a new light through the latest piece of 21st-century technology. We want more people to find out about the great locations and things to do on our waterways. Hopefully the Street View footage will inspire new visitors, whether they are from abroad, finding a new route to work or school, or already use the waterways regularly but want to discover new places to go.”
Emily Clarke, communications manager at Google, adds: "In our Trekker programme, we work with specialist organisations to capture some of the remotest and most beautiful locations in the world from the Grand Canyon to Mount Everest. The Canal & River Trust Trekkers have captured some stunning imagery of Britain's idyllic waterways so more of us can experience them than ever before."