Powered by solar energy and mounted to the backs of sheep, 360-degree cameras are mapping out the Faroe Islands for Google Street View. Since Google was initially reluctant to send cars to the archipelago, locals took it upon themselves to get their own interactive images out into the world, raising awareness of the region’s uniquely beautiful landscapes. In the end, they not only attracted Google’s interest but managed to spawn a creative DIY approach to mapping rugged environments.
Sheep View 360 got its start when resident Durita Dahl Andreassen first strapped a camera to a sheep, let the animal roam free around the island then uploading the results to Google. “I gently placed a 360-degree camera powered by a solar panel on the back of a sheep that would take photographs as the animal freely grazed the open hillsides,” explains Andreassen.
“Photos are then transmitted back to my mobile phone so that I can upload them to Google Street View myself, finally putting the Faroes on the map in a very unique way!” Indeed, some of the shots and perspectives would be unlikely or impossible for vehicles or even humans, taken as they are from the tops of roofs and sides of mountains.
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Next this needs to be attached to mountain goats.
The imagery from weird totally inaccessible areas would be amazing.
Owing to the difficulty of getting wild animals to return the hardware it probably should include an auto-inflating air bag that breaks the harness off the goat while ensuring that the hardware survives falling hundreds of feet down the cliffsides these goats hang out on.
Or just a low bandwidth cell data transmitter (for the images) and write off the hardware as a loss.