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Photo: Visit Faroe Islands
Faroese sheep were strapped with cameras in a bid to get the attention of Google Street View. It worked.

If you were a promising but unknown vacation spot with incredibly picturesque sheep wandering through stunning landscapes, what would you do to attract tourists?

Enlist the sheep, of course.

Karin Brulliard writes at the Washington Post, “The Faroe Islands, a remote archipelago that juts out of the cold seas between Norway and Iceland, doesn’t even appear on some world maps. But as of last [November], the verdant slopes, rocky hiking trails and few roads of the 18 islands are on Google Street View — and a team of camera-toting sheep helped get them there.

“When the islands’ tourism board decided last year that it wanted to get the company’s attention, it knew it would need an unusual pitch. It also knew that its rugged terrain would not be easily traversed by those Google cars that ply city streets worldwide, snapping photos. So it strapped solar-powered, 360-degree cameras onto the backs of a few shaggy Faroese sheep and began uploading the resulting, and very breathtaking, images to Street View itself. …

“Sheep are a big deal in the Faroe Islands, an autonomous nation within the Kingdom of Denmark whose name translates to ‘islands of the sheep.’ The islands’ distinct breed is believed to have been imported by Norse settlers in the 9th century, and today about 80,000 sheep live there, far outnumbering the 50,000 people. …

“Locals and visitors were encouraged to share photos of the Faroe Islands on social media with the hashtags #WeWantGoogleStreetView and #VisitFaroeIslands.

“It didn’t take long for the media-friendly story to make its way to Google, which pronounced it ‘shear brilliance.’ Last summer, the company visited the islands and loaned out one of its eyeball-like Street View Trekkers, as well as some 360-degree cameras for human use. In a blog post, the former tourism board employee who spearheaded the campaign, Durita Dahl Andreassen, explained that those would be handed out to locals and tourists alike and that they would be attached to ‘sheep, bikes, backpacks, ships and even a wheelbarrow.’ …

“The tourism board has moved on to a new, sheep-free effort to get Google Translate to include Faroese, which descends from old Norse.”

More here.

Photo: Visit Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands sheep attracted Google Street View — and tourists.

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