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Google Street View cameras to bring Israel National Trail alive

Tech giant teams up with Israel's Society for the Protection of Nature.

Equipped with 18-kg. Google Street View Trekker cameras strapped to their backs, a group of young hikers will soon set out on the Israel National Trail and bring the 1,100-km. footpath to life on computer screens around the globe.

Over the next three months, about 80 members of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel’s youth movement will take turns hiking the trail, wearing the two specially built cameras that recently arrived in Israel for the project. Their efforts will amount to the longest trail ever photographed for Google Maps and the first that stretches across the entire length of a country, according to SPNI.

Outfitted with a camera system on top, the wearable Trekker backpack enables image gathering “while maneuvering through tight, narrow spaces or locations only accessible by foot,” Google explained. The first such backpack was used to navigate and photograph the terrain of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

“Exposing the Israel National Trail through Street View will encourage tourists from Israel and abroad to experience with their feet and their senses the various cultures and landscapes of Israel, to fall in love with them and to take action to preserve them,” said SPNI CEO Moshe “Kosha” Pakman.

Inaugurated by SPNI in 1995, the Israel National Trail begins in the country’s northern tip at Kibbutz Dan and extends all the way to the organization’s Eilat Field School on the shores of the Red Sea. Along the way, the trail passes through the Galilee, the Carmel mountains, the Mediterranean coastline, Tel Aviv, Rosh Ha’ayin, Elad, the Modi’in region, the Judean lowlands, archeological sites at Beit Guvrin, the Negev Desert and the mountains surrounding Eilat.

Google launched its Street View project in 2007, enabling web surfers to explore neighborhoods, historical areas and see panoramic street-level images in 66 countries on all seven continents. Since the project began, photographs have been taken on more than 9 million km. of roads.

Source: JPost


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