Faroe Islands entices Google Street View via sheep-cams

Human beings are gifted with ingenuity. It’s what has allowed us to bolt 360-degree cameras to the roofs of cars to bring internet users virtual tours of anywhere. Well, almost anywhere. Google Street View has yet to officially make it to the Faroe Islands, which, according to the people who live there, is the most beautiful place in the world. However, a few ingenious residents are taking matters into her own hands, by strapping 360-degree cameras to the backs of sheep.

Why sheep, you ask? Because on the Faroe Islands, sheep outnumber people two-to-one (that’s about 100,000 sheep). And some of the most picturesque views aren’t accessible by road, but as sheep are free to roam the Faroe Islands as they please, they can carry cameras virtually anywhere.

The project is cleverly titled Sheep View 360, and was put together by the Faroese Tourist Board. It’s part of a campaign called #wewantgooglestreetview, with the apparent goal of enticing Google to send over some Street View cars to map the islands. But for now, sheep will suffice.

Putting a camera on a sheep isn’t as easy as you might think. The Faroese team started with a small 360-degree camera (what looks to be a Ricoh Theta), but quickly realized the two-hour battery life wouldn’t be sufficient for a full day of grazing. Unlike an automobile, a sheep has no inherent ability to power a camera, so the team rigged up some portable solar panels that doubled as a harness. The panels power the camera and an iPhone, which travels along with the sheep, wirelessly transmitting images from the camera as they are taken (about one every minute). Back in Sheep View HQ, the team can then upload the photos to Google Maps.

Whether or not it achieves its goal of bringing Google to the Faroe Islands, the above Sheep View 360 video has reached over 16,000 potential tourists in just one day on YouTube. Maybe that will finally help bring that sheep to human ratio closer to one-to-one.

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