Sick of waiting for Google to turn up with their Street View car, a Faroe Islands‘ inhabitant has instead employed the islands’ sheep to do the job for them. Welcome to SheepView360, the planet’s first and only (we’re fairly confident in saying) geo-spacial video project shot entirely by ovines.
The concept, which has grabbed international headlines, is the wild and woolly brainchild of Visit Faroe Islands employee Durita Dahl Andreassen, who felt that the world was ignoring the Faroes, a remote archipelago in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean, out of ignorance about what’s there. The tourism site have launched a petition to try and force the giant American multinational tech company to stop blanking them, using the hashtag #wewantgooglestreetview.
The rugged isles, which are found roughly halfway between Scotland and Iceland, are self governing, but technically form part of the Kingdon of Denmark. They’re home to a population of around 48,000 people and about 80,000 sheep, which run wild around the 18 islands. In Danish the name translates as ‘the islands of sheep’.
How appropriate, then, that the animals are now acting as ambassadors for their homeland. With the help of a local shepherd, solar-powered cameras have been mounted on special harnesses and attached to the back of five animals. While the animals munch and move around, the technology records vision and GPS co-ordinates and transmits the information back to Andreassen’s phone. She then uploads them onto Google Street View, putting the Faroe’s on the modern map.
‘The Faroe Islands have some of the most beautiful roads in the world,’ argues Andreassen on her blog. ‘It is impossible to describe what it feels like driving through the green valleys and up the mountains, or alongside the ocean, surrounded by steep drops and tall cliffs.’
‘But there is a problem. Unlike almost all other parts of Europe, we don’t exist on Google Street View. The Faroe Islands may be rugged and remote but this collection of 18 islands in the North Atlantic also provide some of the world’s most magical landscapes and it is time that this hidden Nordic nation is revealed to the world.
‘Taking matters into my own hands, I decided to create my own version of Street View – Sheep View 360.’
You can see the first results here. And Andreassen would like to stress that no sheep have been harmed in the making of this film.