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Google Street View to add UK rival and canal network

The UK’s river and canal network is to be added to Google Street View, with the wearable 360-degree Google Trekker camera rig set to be used in the UK for the first time.

A more portable version of the Google Street View cars which have caused such a fuss in recent years, the Google Trekker is a backpack mounted rig which is made up of 15 cameras which take 360-degree pictures every 2.5 seconds.

Mounted on a backpack, the 4 foot high rig which is 40lbs in weight (18kg), will be carried by members of the Canal and River Trust during the next month, capturing more than 100 miles of the UK’s waterways.

“It’s fantastic that our 200-year-old network is being given a different lease of life thanks to cutting edge, 21st-century technology,” Wendy Hawk, Corporate Partnerships Manager of the Canal and River Trust said. “The footage we get will allow millions of people from all over the world to see our canals, rivers and towpaths, and will hopefully encourage some people to make a trip to see them.”

The UK’s first use of the Google Trekker camera, the portable rig is traditionally used for hard-to-reach locations and has previously been used to document the base of the Grand Canyon and the inside of the world’s tallest building.

Kicking off this week, the month long initiative to add the UK river and canal system to Google Street View will begin with London’s Regent’s Canal.

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