Google Street View sails into Venice
Most of the world's major cities have been photographed and uploaded to Google's Street View mapping service – but until now, with no streets for cars to navigate, Venice hasn't been among them.
Google instead strapped its Street View cameras to backpackers and gondolas to capture images of the picturesque island city, which is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.
"It was impossible for us to collect images of Venice with a Street View car or trike – blame the picturesque canals and narrow cobbled walkways – but our team of backpackers took to the streets to give Google Maps a truly Shakespearean backdrop," Street View operations manager Daniele Rizzetto wrote on the company's blog.
"And not just the streets – we also loaded the Trekker onto a boat and floated by the famous gondolas to give you the best experience of Venice short of being there."
In all, the cameras travelled 183km by boat and 426km on foot to photograph the city, including landmarks such as St Mark's Cathedral and the Doge's Palace.
Venice's unique geology means its appearance on Google's Street View service follows other difficult spots, like the Great Barrier Reef, Mt Everest and the Grand Canyon.