Over the next three months, Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) volunteers will hike the 1,100 km Israel National Trail carrying Google Street View Trekker cameras to map the trail for future hikers and users. Two specially built cameras have arrived to Israel for this project. This project will create the longest trail ever photographed for Google Maps and the first one that stretches across the length of an entire country.
The Israel National Trail was inaugurated by SPNI in 1995, creating a hiking track across the entire country. The trail begins in Kibbutz Dan in northern Israel and ends at SPNI’s Eilat Field School on the Red Sea. It passes through the Galilee, Carmel, along the Mediterranean coastline, Tel Aviv, Rosh Ha’ayin, El’ad, the Modi’in area, the Judean lowlands, Jerusalem, archeological sites at Bet Guvrin, the Negev wildernesses and the Eilat Mountains.
The project marks 10 years of Google Israel and the 20th anniversary of the Israel National Trail.
The Israel National Trail embodies the nature, landscape, heritage, tradition, religions and cultures that make up the kaleidoscope of modern Israeli society, making the trail an unforgettable experience. The Israel National Trail tells the story of this country, of its people and heritage, its various landscapes, flora and fauna. The entire melting pot of Israeli society can be seen on the trail young children, youth groups, soldiers, tourists, immigrants, families and senior citizens. The Israel National Trail is a registered trademark of SPNI.
Google’s Street View project was launched in May 2007 and is currently available in 66 countries on all seven continents. It allows users to explore virtually and navigate neighborhoods, historical areas and cultural sites through panoramic street-level images. Since this project began, photographs have been taken over 9 million km of roads. The project began with pick-up trucks loaded with cameras, laser devices and GPS travelling throughout the world and has since expanded to include a large number of specially designed devices that can capture 360 degree views in different conditions. Besides the designated Street View Car, Street View team has used snowmobiles, tricycles, trolleys and backpacks.
Google Street View lets users explore some of the most breathtaking natural wonders and world heritage sites. The Israel National Trail will be joining a long list of hikes and landscapes that are documented in Google Maps.
Google Israel CEO Meir Brand, “When this project is completed, the Israel National Trail will be joining some of the world’s greatest heritage and nature sites on Google Maps, like the Pyramids of Giza, the Amazon river and Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temples”.
SPNI CEO Moshe Pakman said, “SPNI sees great importance in presenting and exposing the country and its nature to both Israelis and world citizens. 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."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 4, 2015
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