Nfld. & Labrador

Newfoundland parks, sites set on Google Street View

You can now explore many of Newfoundland and Labrador's national parks and historic sites — without stepping outdoors.
Interview about Jeremy Roop about the province's national parks now appearing on Google Streetview 4:39

Exploring many of Newfoundland and Labrador's national parks and historic sites can now be done — without stepping outdoors.

This week, Google Maps released virtual tours of some of the province's biggest attractions in Street View, a collaborative project with Parks Canada.

External relations manager Jeremy Roop said the parks service is hoping the project will attract even more visitors to the actual sites.

Cabot Tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions in St. John's. (CBC)
"If you go on the Google Maps or Google Earth website — now, from the comfort of your couch — [you] can explore the North Head Trail of Signal Hill National Historic Site or see the panoramic view of Placentia from the top of Castle Hill National Historic Site," Roop said. 

A virtual tour of both those sites is now just a click away on your tablet, hand-held device or computer, from anywhere in the world.

Signal Hill is one of freelance photographer Brian Carey's favourite places.

This past summer, Carey captured a shot of a Google employee wearing a backpack-mounted panoramic camera, to secure the images that are now online.

"I bumped into her and she was kind of busy... she was in a hurry so she didn't have a lot of time to talk, because I guess the camera, that camera, is automatically set to fire every so often. There's four cameras in that unit," said Carey. 

Signal Hill is one of photographer Brian Carey's favourite spots. (CBC)
The four cameras will give a true 360-degree panoramic view. 

"And seeing these sights and getting these sort of virtual experiences ... I think will help people understand the special experiences they can have when they visit these places in person. So it's a good way to increase awareness and connection and, hopefully, increase visitation as well," Roop told CBC News.

About half of the province's Parks Canada properties are currently online.

Others will get the Google treatment next summer.

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