As It Happens

UPDATED: How Faroe Islanders mapped their homeland with camera-toting sheep

Google Street View wouldn't go to the remote archipelago, so Durita Dahl Andreassen and her team decided to strap 360-degree cameras onto the backs of sheep and upload the images to the mapping site.
Select sheep were outfitted with a special harness and a 360-degree camera. (visitfaroeislands.com)
Listen3:41

UPDATE: Last week, Google unveiled the Faroe Islands on Street View. According to the tourism board some spots were not mapped in order to preserve the islands' mystery. In the end, it was humans in cars that mapped the landscape. Not sheep. Last year, As It Happens spoke with Durita Dahl Andreassen, about her effort to get Google to come to the remote archipelago. Read the July 2016 interview below.


There are almost twice as many sheep as people on the Faroe Islands. So a few of the 50,000 humans have decided to recruit the animals to help them map the country.

The sheep are outfitted with harnesses mounted with 360-degree cameras and then left to roam. The purpose — to entice Google Street View to come to the remote islands and map the places too dangerous for the sheep: the roads.

Google has so far refused to go to the Faroe Islands, located about half way between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic.

"Until they [Google] come, we will do Sheep View on our own," Durita Dahl Andreassen tells As It Happens guest host Susan Bonner. "We're surprised how well it worked and we've got some very beautiful pictures."

A 360-degree image captured by one of the Faroe Island sheep. (visitfaroeislands.com)

Andreassen and her team work with one sheep at a time. They find an attractive setting, then ask a local shepherd to lend them an animal well-suited to the job.

"He chooses a calm sheep, a human-friendly sheep that is easy to work with and maybe a sheep that likes to eat. They all do, but the shepherds tell me that sheep will do anything to eat," says Andreassen.

Durita Dahl Andreassen headedup the Sheep View 360 project on the Faroe Islands. (visitfaroeislands.com)

So far, they've mapped five areas.

"I think that's a beautiful thought, that, wherever you are in the world, whoever you are, you have access to see the world, even a hidden place like the Faroe Islands," Andreassen says.

Andreassen, who works for the Faroe Island tourist board, also hopes the project will entice visitors to the country.

"I think the world through the eyes of a sheep is an exciting world, a beautiful world," she says. "Because of the drama they make out of nothing. Maybe rubbing against a fence. Their peaceful life."

For more on the project take a listen to our full interview and visit their website: Sheep View 360

A Faroe Island sheep with a camera on its back grazes on a grass-roofed house. (visitfaroeislands.com)

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