Google have announced that their Street View team have been snapping a tonne of 360-degree imagery of notable locations in Antarctica, with some of this work being posted to the World Wonders Project website. Featured destinations include the South Pole Telescope, Shackleton's hut, Scott's hut, Cape Royds Adelie Penguin Rookery and the Ceremonial South Pole.
Google had already posted static photography imagery that was taken from Antarctica to Google Maps, back in 2010. But, these new photos combine high-resolution, panoramic imagery with the same camera panning, rotation and zooming features that people expect, and use from Google's Street View service. Google worked with the University of Minnesota's Polar Geospatial Center and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust to bring these pictures to our screens.
The search giant claims that its altruistic goal is to provide scientists and students with the most accurate high-resolution data available for historic and notable locations in Antarctica. In order to snap these amazing shots, Google used portable cameras with fish-eye lenses, which is the type of equipment usually used for capturing virtual tours for real-estate agencies, and others. Usually Google would use trikes or vehicles mounted with 3D imaging systems.
This gives a different effect, as people holding a portable camera can get into places that vehicles cannot. Antarctica is huge, remember, so these pictures show just a slither of what Antarctica has hidden away at the bottom of the planet.