The Faroe Islands Created Their Own Google Street View with Sheep

If you tried to search for the Faroe Islands on Google Street View before the spring of 2016 you'd have come up empty. In April 2016, an islander named Durita Andreassen grew so tired of not being included in the technology that she chose to take matters into her own hands. With the help of her community and one of their most prevalent resources, sheep, she made some serious progress.

Why It's Interesting

The Faroe Islands are an autonomous archipelago country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located halfway between Norway and Iceland and north-northwest of Scotland. The 18 islands had a population of 49,188 in 2016. The country's name translates to "the islands of sheep" in Danish, which is fitting, as there are 80,000 sheep in the country, almost double the amount of humans. Durita Andreassen works for the Faroese tourism board, so when she discovered that The Faroe Islands were missing from Google Street View, she launched a video series to attract Google's attention by showing off the beauty of her homeland.

To create her street view videos, Andreassen attached solar-powered 360-degree cameras to a flock of sheep. As the sheep roamed the remote areas of the islands (many of which are inaccessible by cars), they were simultaneously capturing images that forwarded directly to Andreassen with GPS-coordinates. She then uploaded these pictures to Google Street View herself. With the accompanying hashtag #wewantgooglestreetview, Andreassen was not only able to get the attention of many potential tourists, but Google finally heard her pleas, loud and clear.

Why People Are Talking About It

Through their Street View camera loan program, Google sent a Street View representative and 360-degree cameras to the Faroe Islands in August, 2016. Once Andreassen and her team had been properly trained and equipped, they were able to continue their wooly Sheep View program. Today, all Faroese inhabitants and visitors are encouraged to upload their own photos to Google Street View, and the sheep are still capturing images from the places that people can't access.

With this model, perhaps we'll be able to digitally explore even more isolated areas from around the globe. But will having Google Street View ruin the mystique of these remote locations? Perhaps, but Andreassen feels that the Faroe Islands are ready to be seen. As she explained to The Guardian: "It's a place that has always been so hidden and far away from everything, but I think that we are ready to invite people to the place." Now, let's Google it.

Editors' Picks: The Story of The Faroe Islands

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Written by Curiosity Staff December 9, 2016

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