Visit National parks using Google Street View! Follow FizzicsEd Articles: Comments 0 Explore the great outdoors! Planning a bush walk and not too sure what to expect? Why not get trail-side using Google Street View? A couple of years ago, NSW National Parks & Wildlife partnered with Google to use the Trekker, a backpack-mounted 360-degree camera and GPS system that allowed NPWS officers to walk popular as well as more inaccessible national park trails to capture the trail as it really looks! For example, using the image below you can walk along The Coast Track in the Royal National Park in NSW. Move your mouse around the image to find the arrows and then click to move along the track. Similar to the technology Google used to stitch together photos for the International Space Station tour, you can now take a virtual tour of the trails from the comfort of your device… and it’s fantastic! Below is the Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk in Kosciuszko National Park; Check out Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay! More about Google Trekker and NPWS How can you use these virtual tours as an educator? Well, as you have a closer view of the trail vegetation, why not try to conduct a botanical field study? The trial’s effectively act as an ecological transect, which means that students can try zoom in on the vegetation to identify the species depicted when aided by vegetation species lists and field guides to the areas depicted. This gives you an opportunity to discuss advantages and disadvantages of using remote devices to conduct biological surveys, plus perhaps plan for an eventual school field trip to the site you’re surveying! So, next time you’re planning on setting out on a bush walk, perhaps it’s worth visiting Google Maps and clicking on street view, you just might discover a virtual tour many people might not have yet seen! Happy teaching, Ben Newsome NEW Primary science teaching book! “Be Amazing! How to teach science, the way primary kids love” Want more ideas for teaching science? Subscribe to the FizzicsEd Podcast!