MAPPING South Africa’s Trails
to capture 360-degree street view imagery of South Africa’s top wilderness, cultural and historic sites for Google Maps. Each “off-road” location will be 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 trails or pedestrian walkways on foot, and automatically gathers images as it goes.
Google Street View gives internet users a virtual tour of an area using 360-degree panoramic photographs.
South Africa's roads were added to Google Street View in 2010 ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
The first phase of the project has seen 22 volunteer trekkers cover 33 trails across the Cape Peninsula, including seven routes up Table Mountain, five beaches and three urban trails such as the Sea Point promenade.
The team has explored more than 150 kilometres on foot over a six week period and will cover nature reserves across the country over the next few months.
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, SANParks, Cape Nature, 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.
The project comes in the wake of Google's launch of South Africa: Mzansi Experience in March 2016, which helped the world explore South Africa's iconic destinations such as the Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, and the Cape of Good Hope via 360-degree imagery from the comfort of the viewers armchair.