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Bermuda sparkles on Google Street View

A shot of Front Street highlighted on Google Street View

People all over the world can now view the beauty of Bermuda’s national parks from their own homes — thanks to the wonders of Google Street View.

The feature offers panoramic views of locations and roads, allowing people to virtually walk their way around their chosen area.

Stunning images of the Botanical Gardens, the Arboretum, South Shore beaches, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, Crystal and Fantasy Caves, the Railway Trail, Bermuda National Sports Centre and Fort St Catherine are among those that have been added to the Google collection. Minister of Public Works Craig Cannonier said in a statement: “This will bring massive international exposure for the Island and some of its most captivating settings.

“People across the world will be able to virtually wander along the beaches of South Shore Park or through the Botanical Gardens or Arboretum, and fall in love with the beauty of this place from the comfort of their homes.”

The initiative began in late 2014 when representatives of Google Maps contacted the Department of Parks in Bermuda to seek permission to capture high resolution imagery of numerous points of interest across the Island to add to their extensive Street View product.

The variety of locations available to choose from continues to grow with roads, trails, beaches and even the inside of buildings being added to the offerings.

Mr Cannonier said: “The historic properties and forts in and around the Unesco World Heritage Site Town of St George were of particular interest to the Special Collects team at Google Maps.

“During early discussions between the Department of Parks and Google Maps a number of national park properties that would be excellent additions to this project were identified and included in the collection schedule.” The operator from Google’s Street View Special Collects team Hope Garza arrived in May 2015 to begin capturing imagery.

Director of Parks Lisa Johnston said: “The Department of Parks assigned our assistant park planner Justin Lavigne to assist Ms Garza with her data collection in National Parks. “His role was to transport the operator and equipment, known as a “trekker”, to various National Parks and guide her through all of the main features and walking trails.

It was important that the trekker was paused any time that steps were being retraced to avoid collecting an excess of redundant data so the Assistant Park Planner’s detailed knowledge of the parks was an essential asset to the project.

“Over a period of two and a half months, the Assistant Park Planner guided Google’s operator through over 20 National Parks, including beaches, forts, and the entire Railway Trail.”

The City of Hamilton stated it was pleased to act as the point of contact for Google and offer administrative support for the project.

CEO Edward Benevides said: “We are delighted to have been ‘put on the map’ so to speak, showing what our vibrant city offers from every angle and using technology to tell the tale.

“It’s exciting that web users from around the globe can virtually visit our beautiful island home. This is most certainly a boost for our tourism product.”

Deanna Yick, Google Maps Street View programme manager, said: “We are so pleased that people everywhere can walk the unique sites and beaches of Bermuda and explore the country’s culture and history. We hope this imagery inspires them to visit in person.”

• Visit www.instantstreetview.com and type in your chosen location.