Street view in the Arctic, sans streets

Google's mapping team goes farther north than it's ever been, to add in roads, rivers and lakes in the beautiful Canadian Arctic, which is only accessible by plane or boat.

The Street View Trike collecting imagery of Cambridge Bay.
(Credit: Google)

Far beyond the Arctic Circle — nearing the North Pole, where tundra, snow and glaciers are commonplace year-round — is an area called Cambridge Bay in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut. It sits in the Canadian Arctic and is only accessible by plane or boat.

This is the newest location to hit Google Maps Street View.

"Today, we've set out on a mission to build the most comprehensive map of Canada's Arctic region to date," Google Earth Outreach team member Karin Tuxen-Bettman wrote in a blog post. "This is our first trip to the Canadian territory of Nunavut, and together, with community members and government officials, we'll use Google Map Maker and Street View to share the beauty of the Arctic and the Inuit culture with people around the world."

Cambridge Bay is a tiny village of 1500 people and only has a few gravel roads; it's the farthest north that the Google Maps Street View team has travelled in Canada. The team members are working with local representatives, riding around the Street View trike and using Google's Map Maker to add in the area's roads, rivers, lakes and historic locations. All of these points of interest will also be translatable into the local Inuktitut language.

"This is a place with a vast amount of local knowledge and a rich history," local resident Chris Kalluk, who is collaborating on the mapping project, said in a statement. "By putting these tools in the hands of our people, we will tell Nunavut's story to the world."

Google Maps' Street View has recently launched several collaborations that take it beyond city streets. In March, it brought a remote region of Brazil's Amazon to its maps and in February, it took its cameras underwater to explore Australia's Great Barrier Reef in a program called the Catlin Seaview Survey. It has also explored areas near the South Pole in a mapping project of Antarctica, where armchair explorers can see snow-filled vistas, blue-tinted glaciers and penguins.

Here's a screenshot of Cambridge Bay on Google Maps:

(Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET)

Via CNET.com



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