Last month Google & VisitBritain asked the British public to name their top tourist treasures to bring to Google Street View via a new, groundbreaking invention – the Google Trike. The Trikes have the same capability as Street View cars for collecting street-level imagery and are designed to help Google make special imagery collections in places less accessible by cars, such as historic landmarks.
Google was flooded with over 10,000 suggestions, ranging from the well-known to the more unusual, reflecting the breadth of culture and history within Britain. From today, Britons can cast their final vote from within the 5 categories to decide which three locations the Google Trike will visit first (pending good weather this summer). The categories are: Castles, Coastal Paths, Natural Wonders, Historic Buildings & Monuments and (Sports) Stadiums.
The finalists from across these categories are:
Angel of the North, Bamburgh Castle, Cheddar Gorge, Colchester Castle, Corfe Castle, Durdle Door, Eden Project, Ironbridge, Kenilworth Castle, Lands End, Leeds Castle, Loch Ness, Millennium Stadium, Pembrokeshire Coast, Stonehenge, Warwick Castle.
Justin Reid, head of online marketing for national tourism agency, VisitBritain, said:
“People have really been caught up in the potential of the Street View Trike with thousands nominating the locations they’d like to see captured on camera. They’ve suggested familiar and unfamiliar attractions from Scotland to Land’s End, the east coast to the west and everywhere in between.
“With some 5 million extra Brits considering taking a holiday in their own country this year, Google’s Street View is already helping us inspire them with some great urban destinations. The Street View Trike will help us inspire visitors with a small taste of what they can discover off the beaten track.”
“We’ve been thrilled with the suggestions made by the British public and are excited to see where our tricyclist will visit first. Whatever takes your fancy in this final stage, from the modern to the historic, the natural to the man-made we hope the public will get voting to put their tourist gems on the map.”
Due to operational factors such as light levels and the weather (and what could be a pretty tired cyclist), the trike will only be in the UK for a limited time during the summer. Images collected by the trike will be processed and carefully stitched together, a technological process that can take several months. They will be made available at a later date in Street View on Google Maps.
The trike is a mechanical masterpiece comprising three bicycle wheels, a mounted Street View camera and a specially decorated box containing image-collecting gadgetry. It comes replete with a very athletic cyclist in customised Google apparel.
As we only collect images from public roads we’ll work closely with the relevant organisations to secure permission to collect images of privately-owned locations
Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps which is already available in more than 100 metropolitan areas around the world. It is also available in Google Earth and on Google Maps for Mobile. We launched Street View imagery in UK in April allowing people to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery in 25 British towns.
In areas where Street View is available, you can access street-level imagery by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street. You can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, get a helping hand with geography homework, or just explore and get to know your town better.
As well as consumers, UK businesses can also benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their site for free, helping them to promote a chain of hotels or increase awareness of a local library or restaurant.