Street View Comes to Town -on a Tricycle!

Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada, isn't the northernmost place mapped by Google Street View, but it is one of the most inaccessible. There are no cars there, just a few trucks. The citizens get around on snowmobiles, and traffic in and out of the community of 1,477 people is by plane. Everyone there know how to find their way around. But an Inuit geographical-information-systems coordinator invited Street View to come map the area anyway.

The Inuit man, Chris Kalluk, said he approached Google with the idea of bringing Street View to the Arctic last year as a way to educate the rest of the world about the region. "People that have never been in the North, past trees, in communities you can only get to by airplanes; they just don't know," Kalluk said by telephone from Cambridge Bay, where he has lived most of his life.

"They wonder if we live in igloos and travel by dog team. I spoke with an elder the other day who said that the land belongs to all the people, so everyone should be able to see it."

Fishing and hunting trips, often covering long distances, remain an important part of life for the Inuit in Cambridge Bay, or Ikaluktutiak as it's known in the native Inuinnaqtun language. But because magnetic compasses do not work in the far north, paper maps were rarely used for navigation in the past.

So Street View went to Cambridge Bay, and Google geostrategist Karin Tuxen-Bettman photographed the area with cameras mounted on a human-powered tricycle. Local kids followed on their own bikes. In just a few months, we will all be able to see the village up close. Link -via mental_floss

(Image credit: Google/NYT)

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