Environmental reporter Josephine Marcotty writes about our place in nature through her coverage of the outdoors, wildlife, pollution and sustainability.

A Google's eye view of Antarctica

Posted by: Josephine Marcotty Updated: July 17, 2012 - 3:40 PM

Want a cool sightseeing tour on a hot day? How about  Antarctica? Now you can see it without ever leaving the comfort of your chair. The University of Minnesota's Polar Geospatial  Center has teamed up with Google map so anyone (with a computer) can take a virtual tour of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s hut, or Falcon Scott’s supply hut.

The Geospatial Center uses new, state-of-the-art techniques from the geospatial field to help researchers and solve problems on the top and bottom of the world --  "the least mapped places on Earth."

For this project, research fellow Brad Herried took more than a dozen images of the historical huts, research stations and other places on Antarctica  between October 2011 and January 2012. He used a lightweight tripod camera with a fisheye lens that could withstand the harsh conditions and took the photos manually.

Google used them to expand its 360-degree imagery of Antarctica so us arm-chair explorers can see in breathtaking detail (note the dead penguin in Scott's hut) the South Pole Telescope, Shackleton's hut, the Cape Royds Adélie Penguin Rookery, the McMurdo Research Station and many other sites. All can be found at Google's World Wonders Project.


 Shackleton's Hut

 Scott's supply hut

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