The trike has the same capability as Street View cars for collecting street-level imagery and is designed to help Google make special imagery collections in places less accessible by cars, such as historic landmarks and narrow paths.
Last month Google and VisitBritain asked everyone to name their top visitor attraction. Google was flooded with over 10,000 suggestions, ranging from the well-known to the more unusual, reflecting the breadth of culture and history within Britain.
Britons can now cast their final vote from within the five categories to decide which three locations the Google Trike will visit first, pending good weather this summer. The categories are: Castles, Coastal Paths, Natural Wonders, Historic Buildings & Monuments and Sports Stadiums.
One of the ten amazing museums in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, Blists Hill Victorian Town (www.ironbridge.org.uk) is a living history museum where visitors can step back in time to the late Victorian period, chat to the costumed 'townsfolk' and walk into replica Victorian shops, workplaces, homes, a bank, school and even a pub. Delighted with the possibility of being on Street View Paul Gossage, Director of Marketing and PR, said: 'Being able to take a look at the Victorian shops on our newly opened Canal Street will give visitors a taster of what can be discovered at Blists Hill and, we hope, inspire them to come along for the full experience' Blists Hill falls into the Historic Buildings & Monuments category and a link to the voting page can be found at www.maps.google.co.uk/streetviewinfo.
The finalists are: Angel of the North, Bamburgh Castle, Cheddar Gorge, Colchester Castle, Corfe Castle, Durdle Door, Eden Project, Blists Hill Victorian Town Ironbridge, Kenilworth Castle, Lands End, Leeds Castle, Loch Ness, Millennium Stadium, Pembrokeshire Coast, Stonehenge and Warwick Castle.
Justin Reid, head of online marketing for national tourism agency, VisitBritain, said: "People have really been caught up in the potential of the Street View Trike with thousands nominating the locations they'd like to see captured on camera. They've suggested familiar and unfamiliar attractions from Scotland to Land's End, the east coast to the west and everywhere in between.
"With some five million extra Brits considering taking a holiday in their own country this year, Google's Street View is already helping us inspire them with some great urban destinations. The Street View Trike will help us inspire visitors with a small taste of what they can discover off the beaten track".
Google said: "We've been thrilled with the suggestions made by the British public and are excited to see where our tricyclist will visit first. Whatever takes a person's fancy, from the modern to the historic, the natural to the man-made we hope the public will get voting to put their tourist gems on he map".
Due to operational factors such as light levels and the weather (and what could be a pretty tired cyclist), the trike will only be in the UK for a limited time during the summer. Images collected by the trike will be processed and carefully stitched together, a technological process that can take several months. They will be made available at a later date in Street View on Google Maps. As Google only collect images from public roads they will work closely with the relevant organisations to secure permission to collect images of privately-owned locations. The trike is a mechanical masterpiece comprising three bicycle wheels, a mounted Street View camera and a specially decorated box containing image-collecting gadgetry. It comes replete with a very athletic cyclist in customised Google apparel.
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