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Google sends Street View cameras to remote Arctic village

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This week, Google began collecting Street View imagery of Cambridge Bay, a small Inuit hamlet in Nunavut, Canada's northernmost territory.

google street view cambridge bay
google street view cambridge bay

Cambridge Bay is a small Inuit hamlet in Nunavut, Canada's northernmost territory. With a population of just 1,500, the community is remarkably isolated, frigid, and car-less, but in a few months, it'll be accessible via Google Street View.

On Monday, Google began collecting imagery of Cambridge Bay using a camera-equipped tricycle known as the Street View trike, pictured above. The village has only a few streets, though it will take several months to finalize its imagery and upload it to Street View. Cambridge Bay won't be the northernmost North American location on Street View — that title belongs to Alaska's Deadhorse Airport, which sits about one degree further north — though it may very well be the most remote, accessible only by air or, during a brief summer period, by barge.

In the meantime, Google will be training locals to map out other communities around the Canadian Arctic, as part of a broader educational campaign that began this week. On Wednesday, Google held a community Map Up event in Cambridge Bay, where attendees learned how to add local roads, buildings, and topographical features to Google Maps.

Google's northern excursion can be traced back to Cambridge Bay local Chris Kalluk, who urged the company to come to his village last year, in the hopes of exposing the region and its culture to broader audiences. "This is a place with a vast amount of local knowledge and a rich history," said Kalluk, who works for a nonprofit organization called Nunavut Tunngavik. "By putting these tools in the hands of our people, we will tell Nunavut’s story to the world."