Sheep with a 360˚ view

Sheep View 360
Faroe Islands (Faroe Islands)

We’ve had vultures with GoPro cameras strapped to their heads and pigeons with backpacks. Always ones to follow the crowd, now it’s the sheep that are taking to the streets to get techno.

Originally meaning ‘Sheep Islands’, the Faroe Islands consist of a tiny archipelago of 18 islands halfway between Norway and Iceland – with roughly 80,000 of the fluffy creatures to just 49,188 humans. With their green valleys, mountains, steep drops and tall cliffs, they have some of the most beautiful roads in the world. But if you looked at Google Street View you wouldn’t know it. Because they didn’t ‘officially’ exist.

Some of the islanders were bored of waiting for Google’s street-level road-mapping technology to arrive, so local shepherd Durita Dahl Andreassen found a way to provide a window to the Nordic nation’s world – by mounting 360˚cameras powered by a solar panel on the backs of their ovine population. The walking, baa-ing camera operators have no trouble covering the islands’ tricky terrain, roaming the countryside to shoot 360˚ photos for her project, Sheep View 360. “We decided to use sheep, as they are everywhere, outnumbering us,” Andreassen tells us. “Sheep also get to places where a car or even a human might not get to.”

Photos and coordinates are then transmitted back to Andreassen’s mobile phone so they can be uploaded to Google Street View, putting the forgotten Faroes on the map in a very unique way. “We love that we can share our country with our friends abroad and with people who are looking for a different and unspoiled destination,” she adds. “Also, many people do not know that the Faroe Islands exist, so hopefully this has put us on the world map.”

Watch this tour of the island, from the sheep’s perspective in 360˚. It’s strangely mesmerising:

In other sheep news: These ‘smart sheep’ are being used as roaming wireless routers to expand networks in rural areas, bringing the Internet of Things to the countryside in Conwy, North Wales. 

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (18 April 2017)

Project leader

Durita Dahl Andreassen, Visit Faroe Islands

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