The Uk Canal Trust is going to be using the Google Trekker back pack to record parts of the British waterways for Street view.
The Trekker is a 4 foot tall backpack weighing 40lbs, the pack is fitted with a 15 angle lens camera which takes pictures every 2.5 seconds, this information will then be added to Street View which is accessed through Google Maps. The Trekker was designed to be used in places where the Street View Car and Trike would have trouble accessing, so for example narrow path ways and low bridges along the towpath are going to be perfect to trial the Trekker.
The 100 mile journey is to begin with the Regents Canal in London, the canal starts at Little Venice (Maida Vale) and ends in Docklands the canal is roughly 8.6 miles long. Along this route the cameras will capture the atmosphere of Little Venice with its shops, bars and restaurants and the canal café theatre, Lords Cricket Ground, running through Regent’s Park and part of London Zoo.
Locks along the way will include: Hamstead Road, Hawley, Kentish Town, St Pancras, City Road, Sturt’s, Acton’s, Old Ford, Johnsons, Salmon Lane, Commercial Road and finally joins the River Thames at Limehouse Basin.
One of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways is the Bingley 5 rise staircase locks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal which is the steepest lock flight on the network this will be another area that the Trekker will be used.
As will the Standedge Tunnel, the tunnel is over 200 years old stretching 3.25 miles long making it Britain’s longest canal tunnel.
It will be fascinating to see the results from the Trekker and we hope many more parts of the UK canal network will be covered in the future.
Wendy Hawk, corporate partnerships manager of the Canal & River Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be the first people in the UK to get the Trekker on our backs – it’s fantastic that our 200-year old network is being given a different lease of life thanks to cutting edge, 21st-century technology. 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.”
Pascale Milite from Google, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the Canal & River Trust on such a fun project, and we hope to help boost the discovery of and make these historical canals accessible to more people in the UK and across the world through Street View technology.”