Explore Antarctica with Google Street View
July 20, 2012
By Jacqueline Lee
, Contributing Writer
In September 2010, Google (News - Alert) launched imagery of the Antarctic through its Street View program. The company has now added 360-degree panoramic views of historic Antarctic locations.
Through a video posted on Google’s blog, viewers can see a preview of Edward Shackleton’s hut, the South Pole Telescope and Cape Royd’s Adelie Penguin Rookery. Viewers can also see a view of the Ceremonial South Pole and the flags of multiple countries that are planted at the site.
“The goal of these efforts is to provide scientists and travel (or penguin) enthusiasts all over the world with the most accurate, high-resolution data of these important historic locations,” wrote Alex Starns, Street View’s Technical Program Manager.
“With this access, schoolchildren as far as Bangalore can count penguin colonies on Snow Hill Island, and geologists in Georgia can trace sedimentary layers in the Dry Valleys from the comfort of their desks.”
Google will post the Street View images of Antarctica to its World Wonders site. The project was undertaken with the cooperation of the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust and the University of Minnesota’s Polar Geospatial Center.
The company collected the images using a lightweight tripod camera equipped with a fisheye lens. These cameras are usually used to capture photographs of business interiors through the Business Photos program.
One of the interiors captured by Street View is the inside of Shackleton’s cabin. Cargo sleds, food and medicine is still neatly stored inside the cabin, which served as a haven of warmth and shelter in the harsh Antarctic climate.
In 1913, Ernest Shackleton placed an advertisement in the newspaper to invite people to join his expedition to the South Pole. “Men wanted for hazardous journey,” read the advertisement. “Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in event of success.”
Fortunately, Google Street View users can enjoy the barren landscape of Antarctica without risking the bitter cold and long hours of darkness.
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Edited by Braden Becker