Somehow managing to badger Google both incessantly and without snark, Durita Dahl Andreassen has finally seen it happen: Google got formally involved in her homebrew project to put the heretofore unnoticed Faroe Islands on Street View.
There are 50,000 people in the Faroe Islands, but more than 70,000 sheep. The place is pretty rural, and up til now it hasn’t exactly been a hot property on the Google Street View acquisition list. There’s been a Street View camera inside the White House, at CERN, down Diagon Alley and even inside the TARDIS — but never yet to the Faroe Islands. But with her campaign to get Street View making the news all over the web, suddenly that has changed. Where there’s a wool, there’s a way.
Andreassen started her project by teaming up with other Islanders to build bespoke camera harnesses that she then strapped to her sheep. Loosing them at particularly important or picturesque places around the Faroe Islands archipelago, she then collected the images and turned to the Internet for help. The project even received official endorsement from the tourism bureau of the Faroe Islands, making its way onto their website. They’ve been calling it Sheep View 360, after the 360 cameras the sheep are carrying.
Sheep aren’t really supposed to be on the roads, though, which presents an obvious difficulty when trying to get the roads mapped using Street View.
Google obviously heard about Sheep View 360, and it didn’t take long for them to figure out how to respond. They sent a Street View trekker and 360 cameras via their Street View camera loan program, and even dispatched a Google Maps team to the Faroe Islands to help train the locals, ensuring that the humans and sheep will both be capturing the absolute best images they can get.
Better still, it won’t just be sheep anymore. Faroe Islanders and tourists both can help collect Street View imagery of the remote, beautiful islands using “selfie-sticks, bikes, backpacks, cars, kayaks, horses, ships and even wheelbarrows.” This, too, has received official approval: the Visit Faroe Islands office in Tórshavn (hilariously, not yet findable on Street View), along with Atlantic Airways at the airport, will be lending out Street View 360 cameras to those willing to help out with the mapping adventure.
Only a true connoisseur of sheep-based humor will be able to make it out alive from Google’s blog post about Sheep View. Be thankful I wasn’t feeling clever when writing this, or the sheep puns would surely have killed you (ewe? — Ed) by now.