Google and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel launched on Sunday a project under which the entire length of the Israel National Trail has been photographed and mapped, using the “Straight View” method. This is the longest trail ever covered using this method of mapping and photography, spanning 1,100 kilometers. It is the only trail crossing the length of an entire country. The launch date was chosen to coincide with Tu Bishvat, the Israeli equivalent of Arbor Day.
The trail was photographed last summer by SPNI members who carried tracker cameras on their backs. Walking the entire trail took 10 weeks and included ascending Mount Meron, which is 1,208 meters high, and a descent to 195 meters below sea level in the Lake Kinneret area.
The Israel National Trail began at the initiative of hiking guides and environmentalists interested in conserving nature, headed by the late Uri Dvir. It was inaugurated 20 years ago and is defined by National Geographic as one of the 20 best trails in the world. The trail stretches from the northern kibbutz Dan to the SPNI field school in Eilat, encompassing natural scenery, heritage and cultural sites, as well as segments that pass through urban areas, including Tel Aviv.
The Google Street View project was launched in 2007 and is now available in 66 countries. Since its start, 9,000,000 kilometers of trails have been photographed for the project, using diverse methods of photography. The project now includes many well-known trails and excursions, including sailing down the Colorado River, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the pyramids in Giza, Loch Ness in Scotland and Machu Picchu in Peru.