Screengrab of the Drive South Africa video
Photo: Youtube
Screengrab of the Drive South Africa video Photo: Youtube
Screengrab of the Drive South Africa video
Photo: Youtube
Screengrab of the Drive South Africa video Photo: Youtube
South Africa's national parks can be viewed using Google Street View.
Photo: File
South Africa's national parks can be viewed using Google Street View. Photo: File
DURBAN - Using Google Street View, people can view all of South Africa's national parks, according to Tech Central. 

Google, who worked with a South African team, has released a large collection of 360 degree images from the parks. The company announced the news about the new imagery at the 10th anniversary celebration, on the opening of their first African office.

The announcement of 170 new trails in South Africa's national parks and reserves comes after The Mzansi Experience launched in March 2016 which showcased popular tourist attractions like the Kruger National Park and Table Mountain.

Google said, "The new trails, launched today, extend the existing Street View imagery of South Africa’s wilderness areas to include all 19 national parks, 17 previously ‘un-trekked’ nature reserves and many sites of natural, cultural and historical significance in all nine provinces of South Africa". 

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It was a 12 month project that involved more than 200 volunteers, many which were rangers and guides from the KZN Wildlife Ezemvelo, SANParks and CapeNature. The other volunteers were hikers, lovers of nature and tech enthusiasts. 

Google programme manager Magdalena Filak said that the hundreds of volunteers who helped along he way proved to be truly passionate about showing the best of South Africa through their participation in the loan programme.

The projects is a part of the Google Street View programme that encourages people to apply to borrow the 360 degree camera technology and help map the planet. 

Drive South Africa, the loan programme partner, coordinated the team of volunteers. The trekker camera is a custom-made backpack that weighs 22kg and has 15 cameras that point in all directions. The on-board technology maps the camera's exact location on the trail. While it records, the camera also takes a 360 degree photo every two seconds. 

Some of the sites that can be viewed on Street View include the Drakensberg Mountains, Table Mountain and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. 

To display the launch of South Africa's new Street View imagery, Drive South Africa has launched a microsite called South Africa in 360. This was inspired by a similar project that showcases the United States national parks. It is a deeply engaging experience through the top four tourist destinations in South Africa and a collection of lesser known gems. 

The Street View footage was captured by Google photographing 170 new trails that covers a total of 900km. Also 230 points of interest were recorded. 

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE