HUFFINGTON POST

Faroe Islands Enlist Sheep To Create Their Own 360-Degree Street Views

The four-legged photographers wear cameras and solar panels as they run around documenting the terrain -- and their friends 🐏
The project followed unsuccessful attempts to lure Google into documenting the streets of the Faroe Islands.
The project followed unsuccessful attempts to lure Google into documenting the streets of the Faroe Islands.

If Google Street View won’t come to the Faroe Islands, the Faroe Islands will bring 360-street views to them and the world.

The Nordic archipelago nestled between Scotland and Iceland has launched its own 360-degree street views using the islands’ most abundant natural resource: sheep.

The islands’ tourism board strapped cameras onto the four-legged photographers ― whose population outnumbers humans by around 20,000 ― that are busy documenting their mountainous terrain.

A sheep is seen perched on top of a house overlooking one of the islands' breathtaking views.
A sheep is seen perched on top of a house overlooking one of the islands' breathtaking views.

“With the 360 camera gently mounted on the back of a sheep, combined with a mobile phone and some solar panels, the sheep can walk around in the landscape and record pictures,” Visit Faroe Islands states in a release.

Each minute, photos and GPS coordinates taken from the sheep are sent back to the tourism board. They’re then uploaded to Google Street View.

The unique project follows the islands’ petition to Google to come visit and document their terrain. They note that Google Street View has visited Mount Everest and the Great Barrier Reef ― so why not the Faroe Islands?

“To me, it is the strangest thing that I cannot show my friends in other countries where I am from,” said Durita Dahl Andreassen, a Faroe Islands native who is leading the project. “My home country is beautiful, green and kind of undiscovered to the rest of the world, and I want to share it with the world.”

Súsanna Sørensen, a spokeswoman for the country’s tourism board, told The Huffington Post on Wednesday that they initially started their project with four Ricoh Theta 360 cameras that can take both video and photos. A pair of the cameras were damaged along the way, however, leaving them with just two.

A 360-degree camera captured one sheep catching up with a buddy in a field.
A 360-degree camera captured one sheep catching up with a buddy in a field.

Sørensen said that so far, five sheep have participated in documenting four of their villages. Three of those villages are on the island of Streymoy ― Kalbaksbotnur, Tjørnuvík and Syðradalur ― and one, the village of Bøur, is on the island of Vágar. A map of the animals’ travels can be seen here.

She added that the sheep only wear the cameras for a short amount of time.

A Google spokesperson, reached by HuffPost Wednesday, said that the company hasn’t ruled out a visit.

Durita Dahl Andreassen of Visit Faroe Islands is seen with one of the sheep used to document the islands' terrain with 360-de
Durita Dahl Andreassen of Visit Faroe Islands is seen with one of the sheep used to document the islands' terrain with 360-degree cameras.

”We’re feeling a bit sheepish that the Faroe Islands are not yet on Street View,” Google said in an emailed statement. “We’ve been looking for vehicles that can take the 360 degree cameras through even the roughest and steepest parts of nature. We haven’t thought of using sheep yet, but this could be a solution!”

Want to see more photos and videos of the archipelago and its sheep? Check out Andreassen’s Sheep View 360 blog here.

This article has been updated to include Sørensen’s comments.

HuffPost

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