Fáilte Ireland are going "off the grid" with the Google Trekker over the next few months. They are borrowing Google's new technology through its ‘Trekker Loan Programme’ to capture many of Ireland’s remotest tourism beauty spots which haven’t yet been captured by Google Street View.
Over the next several weeks, Fáilte Ireland will be capturing virtual footage of many places people have not been able to see online before, putting some of Ireland's most beautiful sights on the map.
The Trekker is a wearable backpack, with a camera system on top, designed by Google. The Trekker can be walked through pedestrian walkways or trails on foot, and automatically gathers images as it goes. Starting along the Wild Atlantic Way this week, Fáilte Ireland employees will be capturing sights such as islands like Inishbofin, Achill, the Blaskets and Dun Aengus on Inish Mor as well as other significant destinations such as Sliabh Liag, Croagh Patrick and Mizen Head.
Fáilte Ireland will also be using the Trekker to capture many of the highlights of ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’, including the narrow streets of medieval towns, the grounds of stately homes and iconic attractions such as Newgrange. The specialised camera will also be used to capture parts of the Dublin experience, particularly many of its scenic walks in places such as Howth Head, Sandycove and the Royal Canal.
Daragh Anglim, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Digital, spoke about the benefit of employing the Google Trekker, saying:
“Six out of ten visitors to Ireland last year cited the internet as an influence when choosing the country as a destination. Three quarters of visitors told us that they use the internet to plan their itinerary here before arriving. The use of Google Trekker is therefore a welcome addition to Fáilte Ireland’s significant engagement with digital and social media to promote Ireland.
”When finally captured and uploaded, we hope that millions worldwide get to explore very beautiful and attractive images of some of our remotest parts through Google street view. We also hope that these images inspire many viewers to subsequently make the crucial decision to come over here to see the real thing.”
The Trekker is the newest piece of equipment in Google’s fleet of Street View technologies including the Car, Trike, Snowmobile and others. To learn more about these, you can click here.
Commenting on the advantages this technology can bring to tourism, Laurian Clemence, Communications Manager with Google, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Fáilte Ireland in order to bring Street View imagery to an area of the world that is rich in heritage and known for its outstanding natural beauty; which anyone across the world will be able to access directly from their smartphones or computer via Google Maps, and encourage many to visit.”
The footage captured over the next few weeks will be processed by Google and made available in early 2016 - giving people all over the world an even better view of what Ireland has to offer in terms of walks and landscapes.