New Street View in Nu­navut

Google goes to the ends of the Earth

Toronto Sun - - NEWS - BOB WE­BER

It’s of­fi­cial. Google Street View has now gone to the ends of the Earth.

As part of a deal with Parks Canada, the In­ter­net giant is now show­cas­ing Street View im­ages of one of the re­motest places on the planet — Qut­tinir­paaq Na­tional Park on the north­ern tip of Ellesmere Is­land.

“We want peo­ple to care about the places that we pro­tect,” said Emma Up­ton, who man­ages the park. “Bring­ing it into peo­ple’s homes seemed a re­ally good idea. It is a dif­fi­cult place to reach.”

Only a tiny sliver at Green­land’s apex reaches fur­ther north.

To reach Qut­tinir­paaq (kih-TURN-ih-pak), you first fly to Iqaluit, the cap­i­tal of Nu­navut. Your next flight takes you to Res­o­lute on Corn­wal­lis Is­land. Then you must hire a Twin Ot­ter to fly to the park, where there are no com­mu­ni­ties, no ser­vices, no noth­ing.

It takes days and thou­sands of dol­lars. Fewer than 25 souls man­age it each year.

“It’s a place where we can still find true soli­tude and we can still ex­pe­ri­ence real si­lence,” said Up­ton. “You can hike for days and you will not see a sin­gle jet fly­ing over you. You will hear the wind in your ears and a few birds and the water rush­ing.”

Moun­tains, glaciers cling­ing to their sides, soar thou­sands of me­tres from icy seas. Rivers carve through rugged val­leys past gen­tle hills. Wildlife in­cludes herds of muskox, Arc­tic fox, wolves and 10-kilo­gram Arc­tic hares. Gyr­fal­cons and owls slice the skies.

Staff were trained in the use of Google trekker cam­eras and spent July 2016 car­ry­ing them around the park as part of their reg­u­lar work, said Up­ton.

PARKS CANADA PHO­TOS/VIA CANA­DIAN PRESS

A Parks Canada staff mem­ber hikes near Tan­quary Fiord with the Google trekker in Qut­tinir­paaq Na­tional Park in Nu­navut.

A Parks Canada staff mem­ber hikes near Air Force Glacier with the Google trekker in Qut­tinir­paaq Na­tional Park.

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