Sheep in the Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands move from Sheep View to Street View

Image credit: Dreamstime

After a year of petitioning Google and collecting images of the Island using sheep equipped with cameras, the Faroe Islands have finally been added to Google Street View.

The Faroe Islands are 18 small islands between Iceland, Norway and Scotland, forming a self-governing archipelago within Denmark.

In July 2016, Durita Andreassen, a Faroe resident, began to campaign for the islands to be included in Google Street View – a function of Google Maps which allows internet users to explore countries all over the world with high levels of detail – in order to share the unique Faroese landscapes with the rest of the world.

The Faroese created their own version of Google Street View, strapping solar powered cameras onto five sheep in order to capture footage of the island. These “lamb cams” took a photograph every 60 seconds, and these pictures were uploaded to a tourist website.

On hearing about the “Sheep View 360” project, Google representatives described it as “shear [sic] brilliance”. In August, they supplied the Faroe Islands with a Street View Trekker and 360° cameras through the Street View camera loan program, such that the sheep could be assisted in capturing and pooling a sufficient collection of images of the islands.

Now, Google has announced that the Faroe Islands are to be included on Google Street View.

“It’s our mission to make the farthest corners of the world accessible through Street View in the palm of your hand. But there’s a lot of world out there, so sometimes we need a little bit of help to hoof the distance,” said David Castro González, Google Maps Program Manager.

“Now, thanks to Durita and her trusty sheep, you can explore the Faroe Islands in Google Maps. It goes to show – if there’s a wool, there’s a way.”

Next, the Faroe Islands are campaigning for the search giant to include their native language, Faroese, in Google Translate. There are just 66,000 native speakers of the language, several of whom have contributed to another homegrown project, Faroe Islands Translate. The aim of this is to build up a video database of people speaking Faroese that can be visually and audibly logged, in order to engage and assist tourists.

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