UK's canals and rivers come to Google Street View

The UK's waterways are being mapped by Google, so you can take a stroll down them without getting wet.

Google Street View is coming to the UK's 200-year-old network of canals and rivers. Starting this week, people from the Canal & River Trust will be walking up and down the network with a Google Trekker strapped on their backs. (Google Trekker is the device with cameras all around it, able to capture a 360-degree view wherever it goes.)

Over the next month, the Canal & River Trust will walk over 100 miles to Street View-itise the nation's network of waterways. Let's hope the weather holds.

Usually Google uses cameras on the roofs of cars to capture images for Street View, but it breaks out the Trekker for those hard-to-reach locations. It's a four-feet-high device, with a 15-angle lens camera that can take a 360-degree picture every 2.5 seconds. It's previously been used to document the Grand Canyon, the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building), and some of the world's highest mountain peaks.

The first port of call on its latest odyssey? The Regent's Canal in London.

As well as covering the full length of the Regent's Canal, Street View will include the Bingley Five Rise -- the steepest lock flight on the canal network -- and the blacksmiths workshop at Stoke Bruerne, which is one of the most picturesque villages on the Grand Union Canal.

It's the first time the Trekker has been used in the UK. Wendy Hawk, corporate partnerships manager of the Canal & River Trust, said the company was "delighted" to be the first in the country to use it, adding, "it's fantastic that our 200-year-old network is being given a different lease of life thanks to cutting edge, 21st-century technology. 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."

While you're on Street View, why not take a tour of the TARDIS?

Should Google be mapping the whole world? Or is it all a bit Big Brother for your liking? Whatever next? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

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