Wed, Jan 29, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Google adds more local scenic spots to its Street View

Staff writer, with CNA

Google Inc has added more 360? images of Taiwan’s scenic spots to its Street View as a travel reference for the public ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins tomorrow, the company has announced.

Street View is the panoramic image viewer featured on the company’s Google Maps.

The US-based search engine has taken photographs of 160 scenic places in Taiwan over the past six months — the largest single upgrade since the local project was launched in August 2009 — to bring the total number of “photospheres” of places in the country to 410, it said in a statement.

The upgrade covers 17 counties, cities and villages, including more than 30 scenic spots at Taroko National Park in Hualien, Yangmingshan National Park outside Taipei and Kinmen National Park on the outlying island of Kinmen.

About one-third of the new scenes were recorded using the Google Street View “Trekker,” a backpack worn by a hiker outfitted with a multidirectional camera system on top that is used to photograph locations that are hard to reach by car, cart or bicycle.

That means that Google Maps users can now easily access landscapes such as the Zhuilu Old Trail in Taroko Park, the Zhai-shan Tunnel in Kinmen County and the Qingtiangang grassland on Yangmingshan with just a click.

Google announced in June last year that it was bringing the Trekker to Taiwan to gather more panoramic views of scenic spots.

Taiwan is the second country in the Asia-Pacific region to be documented by the Trekker, following a similar launch in Japan in 2012.

Google started its Street View project in 2007 in the US, collecting street images by using cars packed with computers, cameras and GPS devices.

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