Parliament Hill gets Google Street View treatment
Google Street View cameras arrived on Parliament Hill Tuesday to document the historic buildings for what will become a virtual tour for millions of people who will never get to walk its hallowed halls.
Google Canada said its cameras will spend a few days capturing everything from the House of Commons and the Senate Chamber to the Library of Parliament and even the Prime Minister’s Office, “mapping this iconic landmark of Canadian history and culture for all Canadians to enjoy and explore.”
While spotting the Google Street View cars on local streets has become something of a sport in recent years, they won’t be seen driving down Centre Block’s Hall of Honour for this project. Google has adapted the Street View technology to fit a push-cart it calls Trolley, which has been used for similar projects at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the White House.
The Trolley has a panoramic camera to capture 360-degree views, motion sensors, a hard drive and an onboard computer.
“Parliament stands at the heart of our democracy,” Google Canada said on its official blog.
“Through these images, people across the world will be able to see the places where our laws are debated and the chambers where Senators and Members come together to represent every Canadian. Users will have behind-the-scenes access to tour working offices and explore the iconic art, architecture and history of an institution that serves as the backdrop for Canadian politics.”
Senate Speaker Noel A. Kinsella and House Speaker Andrew Scheer welcomed the Google team to Parliament Hill in a joint statement.
“We are delighted to let Canadians and people all over the world explore the art and architecture of the Senate of Canada through Google’s 360-degree panoramic lens,” Kinsella said. “This amazing technology will give viewers the opportunity to visit working offices in the Senate.”
Scheer said it is “exciting to provide another way for Canadians to be able to view and experience their Parliament buildings. This is truly an opportunity for Canadians to bring the House of Commons into their homes.”
Google Canada said it will launch the final product in Google Maps “in the coming months.” It also announced other landmarks that will be captured by the Trolley, including the Calgary Saddledome, BC Place, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and Quebec City’s battlements.