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Street View arrives in Manila, island hopping around Philippines to follow

Google’s Street View team set to work in the Philippines for the first time Tuesday, capturing imagery from around the capital city of Manila at the start of a journey that will ultimately take it across much of the sprawling archipelago.

Announcing via a blog post its plan to snap views from around the country, Ryan Morales, Google’s marketing manager for the Philippines, described the Street View effort as “a logistical challenge” – understandable when you consider the nation comprises 7,107 islands.

To ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible, Google has teamed up with the country’s department of tourism, with the government hoping the imagery will help to boost visitor numbers to the Philippines.

“As a preview of the Philippines’ take on Street View, we’re publishing today 360-degree photos from within Manila’s historic walled city of Intramuros,” Morales wrote in his post. Landmarks there include the San Agustin Church (the country’s oldest stone church), Baluarte de San Diego (one of the oldest stone fortifications in Intramuros), Plaza San Luis Complex (comprising a number of buildings showing various examples of Filipino-Spanish architecture), and Fort Santiago, built by the Spanish in the 16th century (pictured above).

According to the marketing manager, these initial images were captured with the Street View Trekker backpack, identical to the ones used to gather imagery at the Grand Canyon and ideal for off-road exploration. Google is expected to roll out more imagery from the Philippines in the coming months.

The Web giant’s quest to map the world from ground level shows no sign of letting up, with nearly 50 countries now included on Street View, which launched almost eight years ago.

Other locations in Asia with at least some Street View imagery include Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

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