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Exploring Canada’s National Parks in the land of the Midnight Sun
April 30, 2015
The days are getting longer in Canada’s Arctic. The sea ice is breaking up, Arctic heather is poking through the snow-covered tundra and the arrival of the migratory
is days away. Summer is right around the corner. And today, in close collaboration with Parks Canada, we’re thrilled to share a glimpse of
Canada’s Northern National Parks
and the high north’s breathtaking summer season through the lens of Street View and Google Maps.
These are some of Canada’s most remote National Parks. In spite of challenges posed by this vast geography, the far north also presented a unique opportunity. For example,
Ivvavik National Park
looks as bright and sunny as midday. But Parks Canada operators were collecting this imagery close to midnight, taking advantage of the far north’s endless summer days.
Virtual visitors can marvel at the sweeping glaciers and dramatic fjords of
, discover the British Mountains and the Firth River Valley in
, and immerse themselves in
’s stunning canyons and waterfalls along the rugged Brock River.
And, not to be missed, be sure to check out the spectacular towering peaks of the
, the grandeur of Canada's only salt plains and take a Street View stroll in the historic Sweetgrass bison corrals of
Wood Buffalo National Park
– Canada’s largest national park.
Ivvavik National Park
Ivvavik National Park protects a portion of the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd. Some of the imagery from Ivvavik was collected as late as 11pm.
Torngat Mountains National Park
From the Inuktitut word Torngait, meaning “place of spirits,” the Torngat Mountains have been home to Inuit and their predecessors for thousands of years.
Tuktut Nogait National Park
Overlooking La Roncière Falls in Tuktut Nogait National Park and the Hornaday River’s awe-inspiring canyons and waterfalls.
Auyuittuq National Park
Auyuittuq National Park images were gathered primarily from the water. The Street View Trekker was positioned on a boat which sailed along the park's coastline.
in 2013, Parks Canada and Google have collected imagery from over a hundred of Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. Our work in the north, however, is not finished and we look forward to connecting Canadians and the world to more of our country’s majestic northern national parks in the near future.
In the meantime, enjoy a trip north on Google Maps... the Arctic summer sun is not going down on these amazing Street View images anytime soon.
Posted by Aaron Brindle, Virtual Explorer and Canadian Trekker, Google Canada
Walk in the footsteps of South Africa’s freedom fighters
April 22, 2015
On April 27, 1994, Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa in the country’s first democratic, post-Apartheid election. Known now as “
,” that date has become a symbol of hope in South Africa and around the world. To commemorate this historic day, we’ve partnered with the
Robben Island Museum
Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
to bring the story of this UNESCO World Heritage Site online for the world to explore. The
Cultural Institute online tour
allow people everywhere to see the island where Nelson Mandela and many of South Africa’s freedom fighters were imprisoned during their quest for equality.
As a symbol of South Africa’s struggle for freedom, Robben Island has become a destination for people to connect with Mandela and other freedom fighters. Standing in Mandela’s 8 x 7 foot
, it's hard to believe someone could spend 18 years here. Exploring the
, you can also see
of his cell during the time of his imprisonment. You can imagine Mandela sitting at the cramped desk, surrounded by books and papers, working towards a future of freedom for all.
Photograph of Mandela’s Cell c.1971
Robben Island was also where activist
was imprisoned, kept in solitary confinement for more than three years after taking a stand against the
, which required black citizens to carry an internal passport and severely limited their mobility. Exploring Sobukwe’s
home on Robben Island
, you can learn more about the man who didn’t let prison halt his attempts to make equality a reality. You can even view the pages of his
, which is still kept on his desk today.
Robert Sobukwe’s house of solitary confinement on Robben Island
In the new online
on the Cultural Institute platform, you can also listen to prisoners’ personal anecdotes about life at this infamous prison, including memories of where they were forced to
as well as how they studied and came together to create a unified vision for freedom in South Africa. You can see some personal items donated by former political prisoners, including a
from the their FIFA-recognized league, hand-drawn
table tennis awards
, and a
duplicate master key
fashioned by a prisoner from lead.
View of the Lime Quarry, the site of enforced prison labor at Robben Island
Once a symbol of the oppressive Apartheid regime,
is now a memorial and a reminder of the human spirit’s irrepressible search for freedom. We hope you’ll take a moment to step back in time to
explore and be inspired
by the island’s story of hope and humanity.
Posted by Luke McKend, Country Director for Google South Africa
Myth or monster? Explore Loch Ness with Street View
April 20, 2015
Like the world’s best legends, the
Loch Ness Monster
transcends the everyday and exists at the edges of possibility. It rises above the sightings and the hoaxes; the claims and counter-claims; the tourism, the nationalism—and even the
. It lives in the telling of stories. Whether or not you believe, most people hold a romanticized vision of the creature that, legend has it, plumbs the depths of the Loch. Affectionately known as “Nessie,” she exists in folklore, dances in childrens’ imaginations, and seeps into our society and teachings, inspiring everything from
In 1934, the “
” was released, claiming to show the monster in the misty waters of the lake. It’s the most iconic photo in the history of Loch Ness—and may be one of the most elaborate hoaxes of our age. Today, to celebrate the anniversary of its release, we're bringing 360-degree Street View imagery of Loch Ness to
, so you can go in search of Nessie yourself.
Loch Ness, Scotland
Sail across the freshwater lake and take in its haunting beauty, made darker still by the peat particles found in its waters. Let the Loch unlock the spirit of your imagination, where the rippling water, tricks of the light, and drifting logs bring
the legend of Nessie to life
. Adrian Shine, leader of the
Loch Ness & Morar Project
, has been engaged in fieldwork in the Highlands since 1973 and was an integral part of the Street View collection. As a true Loch Ness expert, Shine has
more than 1,000 Nessie sightings and offers scientific explanations for why people claim to have seen Scotland’s mysterious
Formed of a series of interrelated bodies of water, including the River Oich to the south and the Bona Narrows to the north, Loch Ness stretches for 23 miles southwest of Inverness. Although it’s neither the largest Scottish loch by surface area nor depth, it is the largest by volume, containing more freshwater than all the lakes of England and Wales combined. And at almost 800 feet deep, there’s an entire world
below the surface
, giving rise to the Nessie legend.
Underwater in Loch Ness
To take you on a tour of what lies beneath, our partners at the
Catlin Seaview Survey
dived deep under the surface of the lake, collecting imagery along the way. You can imagine Nessie nestling within these dark, peat-filled waters, waiting for the right moment to breach the surface into the Scottish sunlight above.
A diver from the Catlin Seaview Survey collecting underwater imagery of Loch Ness
Wherever you stand on the Nessie debate, the legend lives on—even in the digital era. There are
for Loch Ness than there are for other U.K. institutions like Buckingham Palace and the Peak District. And as we celebrate Loch Ness with today’s Doodle, we hope you can enjoy some of the most history-laden and breathtaking imagery the highlands have to offer with
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By Sven Tresp, Program Manager, Street View Special Collections
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