The Faroe Islands are home to around 50,000 people. Being hilly and separated from mainland Europe by the Norwegian Sea, they aren’t exactly the most car-friendly place.
This made Durita Dahl Andreassen’s task a bit complicated. She wanted to get her home on Google Street View, which Google largely puts together by riding around in cars equipped with cameras. That wasn’t going to work on the roving trails of the Faroe Islands, so she figured maybe she could strap some cameras to a few of the islands’ more than 70,000 sheep.
Andreassen launched the “sheep view” campaign in early 2016, and, on Nov. 2 of this year, the Faroe Islands made their debut on Google Street View.
The whole thing started in April of 2016 as a simple hashtag, #WeWantGoogleStreetView, that featured photos of the Faroe Islands. By the middle of May, Andreassen had introduced the part of her campaign that would go viral.
“My crazy idea is to use sheep as my very own fluffy camera operators,” she wrote in a blog entry on May 10. She asked if anyone had any leads on a 360 camera, and questioned how she was going to get such a camera strapped to a sheep.
Andreassen had figured it out a month later, and started loading photos taken on the backs of sheep to Google Street View. By June 20 she’d uploaded a map of five different spots her mini camera-strapped herd had been, and in August, media from around the globe started writing about her four-legged photographers so much that Google noticed, too, and decided to fly equipment to the islands.
They brought cameras and a Google Trekker, and “sheep view” expanded as an array of folks attached cameras to their backpacks, bikes, horses, kayaks, ships, and more to get a complete picture of the islands.
“Now, as a result of that work, Google Street View includes the Faroe Islands,” reads the latest “sheep view” blog post. “The Faroes are now well and truly on the map.”