Google Maps to offer panoramic images of The Galapagos Islands

Google hopes the Street View imagery not only advances the important scientific research, but also inspires you to learn more about this special place.

By Kul Bhushan Published Date
24 - May - 2013
| Last Updated
24 - May - 2013
Google Maps to offer panoramic images of The Galapagos Islands

Google has over the months continued to enhance its Google Maps Street View experience with panoramic images of the world's exquisite destinations. It recently added Grand Canyons and Everest, and now the latest to appear in Google's Street View panorama will be The Galapagos Islands.

Google in a detailed blog post revealed it is collecting imagery of the Islands, which includes Underwater Street View photography. The visual content is expected to appear on Google Maps later this year.

Google further says the biodiversity of the Islands inspired Charles Darwin to come up with the theory of evolution. Now taken care by Ecuador, the local government and conservationists are working together to rotect the Galapagos from threats posed by invasive species, climate change and other human impacts.

The Internet company tied up with the Ecuadorean government, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), the Galapagos National Parks Directorate (GNPD), and the Catlin Seaview Survey to gather panoramic images of the Islands. For above-ground images, Google used is Street View Trekker while the coastal shelf were captured by Catlin Seaview Survey team, which has also teamed with Google, using three SVII cameras on its diver-operated, motorized underwater scooter.

Daniel Orellana of Charles Darwin Foundation crossing a field of ferns to reach Minas de Azufre (naturally-occurring sulfur mines) on the top of Sierra Negra, an active volcano on Isabela Island. The Google Maps team traveled for more than three hours, hiking and on horseback, to reach this remote location.

“Our 10-day adventure in the Galapagos was full of hiking, boating and diving around the islands (in hot and humid conditions) to capture 360-degree images of the unique wildlife and geological features of the islands with the Trekker. We captured imagery from 10 locations that were hand-selected by CDF and GNPD. We walked past giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies, navigated through steep trails and lava fields, and picked our way down the crater of an active volcano called Sierra Negra,” said Google in a blog post.

Daniel Orellana of the Charles Darwin Foundation climbs out of a lava tunnel where he was collecting imagery. The dramatic lava landscapes found on Isabela island tell the story of the formation of the Galapagos Islands.

“Life underwater in the Galapagos is just as diverse as life on land. We knew our map of the islands wouldn’t be comprehensive without exploring the ocean that surrounds them. So for the second time we teamed up with the folks at the Catlin Seaview Survey to collect underwater panoramic imagery of areas being studied by CDF and GNPD. This imagery will be used by Catlin Seaview Survey to create a visual and scientific baseline record of the marine environment surrounding the islands, allowing for any future changes to be measured and evaluated by scientists around the world.”

A Galapagos giant tortoise crawls along the path near Googler Karin Tuxen-Bettman while she collects imagery with the Street View Trekker in Galapaguera, a tortoise breeding center, which is managed by the Galapagos National Park Service.