Google backpack camera to promote remote Irish beauty spots

Many of Ireland’s most remote and beautiful tourist spots are to feature on Google Street View for the first time next year.

The initiative will see Fáilte Ireland borrowing the Google Trekker over the next three months to record areas inaccessible to the car used in Google Street View.

The Trekker is a backpack with a camera system on top designed by Google, gathering images as the wearer moves. It is being made available through a loan programme operated by the company.

Starting along the Wild Atlantic Way this week, Fáilte Ireland employees will record on several islands, such as Inishbofin, Achill, the Blaskets and the largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór — site of the prehistoric fort Dún Aengus — as well as other significant destinations, such as Sliabh Liag, Croagh Patrick and Mizen Head.

Fáilte Ireland will also use the Trekker at many locations in ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’, including the narrow streets of medieval towns, the grounds of stately homes, and iconic attractions such as Newgrange.

Dublin will also get the Trekker treatment, particularly many of its scenic walks in places such as Howth Head, Sandycove, and the Royal Canal.

The footage will be processed by Google and made available in early 2016.

Fáilte Ireland’s head of digital, Daragh Anglim, said the ability of tourists to be able to see Irish attractions online was of major importance.

“Six out of 10 visitors to Ireland last year cited the internet as an influence when choosing the country as a destination,” said Mr Anglim. “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.”

Communications manager with Google, Laurian Clemence, said the technology will allow Ireland to be seen by a much wider audience.

“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,” she said.

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