North

No street names, but Street View for Sanikiluaq, Nunavut

Sanikiluaq is the third community in Nunavut to by mapped with Google's Street View technology, despite the fact that it has no street names.

Nunavut hamlet is third community in territory to be mapped with Google technology

Joel Heath of the Arctic Eider Society collects images for Google Street View in Sanikiluaq. (Google Canada/Aaron Brindle)

The hamlet of Sanikiluaq is getting the Google Street View treatment this week, but one complication is making mapping the small Nunavut community more difficult. 

Like many small communities in the Arctic, Sanikiluaq has no street names. Nunavut's capital, Iqaluit, has only had official street names since 2001.

Daryl Dibblee, Sanikiluaq's senior administrative officer, says the visit from the internet giant may give residents the incentive to think up some new names. 

"I don't know, maybe this will spur on a competition for street names," he says. "That may be interesting.

"Anything that excites the community is good for the community."

Google has already mapped two other Nunavut communities — Iqaluit in 2013 and Cambridge Bay in 2012 — for Street View, a technology that provides panoramic views of many cities, towns and geographic locations around the world.

In most locations, a car mounted with a special camera is used, but in Sanikiluaq, the team is using a backpack mounted with a camera called a "Trekker" to capture a 360-degree ground-level view. They are also capturing images on the back of a snowmobile.

Dibblee says the Google team will meet with hamlet officials, as well as Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq this week. They will also host an open-mapping session for Sanikiluaq residents.

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