The UK's beautiful canals and rivers are to make an appearance on Street View, with the Canal & River Trust securing a loan of a portable Google Trekker backpack allowing it to capture imagery on foot.
Typically, Street View gathers its images from a specially equipped car or tricycle, but the country's canal and towpaths don't make that an option. Using the Google Trekker means that someone can walk the route carrying the equipment on their back.
The Trekker is a 1.2-metre backpack weighing 18kg, incorporating a camera with 15 lens angles. It takes a shot every 2.5 seconds and these 360-dregree images are fed back into Google Maps to be stitched together to make the Street View world you're familiar with.
The Canal & Rivers Trust says it is the first organisation in the UK to secure the Trekker, and the first task is to capture the entire length of the Regent's Canal that runs through London.
"We're delighted to be the first people in the UK to get the Trekker on our backs - it's fantastic that our 200-year-old network is being given a different lease of life thanks to cutting-edge, 21st-century technology," said Wendy Hawk, corporate partnerships manager of the Canal & River Trust.
"The footage we get will allow millions of people from all over the world to see our canals, rivers and towpaths, and will hopefully encourage some people to make a trip to see them."
The project will take in some of the country's most picturesque locations, which should be of interest to walkers and historians alike.