In the Faroe Islands, Street View has become Sheep View
One of the ever-more limited places Google's Street View cars have yet to visit is the Faroe Islands. Aggrieved that her home country, which she says is "the most beautiful place on earth" is missing out, Durita Dahl Andreassen strapped a 360-degree camera to a sheep and created Sheep View 360.
Indeed, when we say "ever-more limited," we mean it. Although there are a number of countries whose roads have yet to be documented, the remit of Street View has increased to the extent that it now features the inside of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, a wealth of sites in the oceans and even scenes from the past.
Dahl Andreassen's homemade version of Street View is actually part of a wider campaign she is running on behalf of Visit Faroe Islands to bring Google Street View to the Atlantic archipelego. The #wewantgooglestreetview campaign makes the point that Google has taken Street View cameras all over Europe and even to the top of Mont Blanc, but never to the Faroe Islands.
"To me it is the strangest thing that I cannot show my friends in other countries where I am from," explains Dahl Andreassen. "My home country is beautiful, green and kind of undiscovered to the rest of the world – and I want to share it with the world."
The Faroe Islands cover an area of 1,396 sq km (539 sq mi) and comprise 18 islands in total. The 49,188 people who live there are outnumbered almost twice over by an 80,000-strong population of sheep, which is why the country's name fittingly translates as the "sheep islands."
Taking advantage of this sizeable sheep supply, Dahl Andreassen planned to mount a 360-degree camera on a sheep. To do so, she worked with a designer to create a special harness that would wrap around the midriff of a sheep and hold the camera in place on its back.
Once the camera is secured, the woolly wanderer is sent on its way. Powered by solar panels attached to the harness, the camera captures a photo every 60 seconds. The photos can then be manually downloaded from the camera once the sheep has been relocated, or it can be used together with a mobile phone to livestream photos back to the Visit Faroe Islands office.
Finally, Dahl Andreassen is able to sort through the photos and, based on their accompanying GPS data, upload them to the relevant place in Street View.
Work began on the project in April, with content beginning to be produced more recently. So far, Dahl Andreassen has worked with local shepherds to capture images in five areas of the country, using a single sheep each time. The project is ongoing.
The video below provides an introduction to the Sheep View 360 project.
Source: Visit Faroe Islands