Google Street View adds the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to its Special Collection
01 March 2011
1st March 2011: Google today adds imagery from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and its glasshouses to the Street View gallery, allowing people from across the world to view and explore Britain’s most famous botanic garden. More than 30,000 varieties of plants, flowers and trees are grown at Kew, many of which can now be viewed at maps.google.co.uk.
Over 26 kilometres of paths and many of Kew’s glasshouses will be accessible to internet users at the click of a mouse, including the iconic Palm House and Temperate House. The Street View technology enables any internet user to navigate 360 degree ground-level imagery of Kew Gardens’ paths, gardens and glasshouses.
As spring approaches, the company hopes the imagery of Kew will inspire many more people to discover their passion for botanic gardens and come and visit the real thing. A recent survey of Street View users showed that one third (33%) of visitors to the site had used it to look at visitor attractions abroad – often ahead of a trip. Through the new imagery visitors to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew will be able to check out the Gardens before arriving, plan their routes and arrange meeting points.
The new imagery is the latest move in a drive to share the UK’s culture and heritage online. Only last month Britain’s most famous artworks from the National Gallery and Tate museums were made accessible to art lovers around the world by Google’s Art Project.
Professor Stephen Hopper, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said:
"We were very pleased when Google approached us to put Kew Gardens on Street View. A virtual overview of one of the world's most famous gardens is bound to encourage people to visit us and experience Kew for themselves. Spring is one of the most beautiful times of year to enjoy the colour and scents of Kew. The sheer beauty of the plant collections are bound to inspire a delight in the natural world, especially after a long hard winter .
Ed Parsons, Google's Geospatial Technologist said:
“Google Street View is increasingly becoming the first place people turn to when planning a visit to one of Britain's many world-class attractions. We want to showcase the very best that Britain has to offer and Kew Gardens was the natural choice.”
Looking beyond Spring, Kew’s Summer festival celebrates the global scope of the Gardens by inviting visitors to experience far flung climes without having to venture even as far as the airport. From the heat of the Brazilian rainforest to the cool of the Alpine region, and from the elegance of Japanese architecture to the arid wilderness of the world’s desert regions, a trip to Kew transports visitors to some of the world’s most exotic holiday destinations. For more information, please go to www.kew.org/press.
Jenny Craig for Google: email@example.com / 0207 031 3130
For further information about the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, please contact Jo Maxwell: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0208 332 5681.
• Pedestrianised areas and other attractions and landmarks around the UK can apply for the Street View car or trike to come and map their location via the Google Street View Partner Programme
• Users can find out where our cars are currently driving here: http://www.google.co.uk/help/maps/streetview/where-is-street-view.htm
• Street View was first launched in May 2007 and is hugely popular worldwide with imagery available in over nearly 20 countries. The most up to date list of countries can be found here
• In 2009 over 30,000 British people voted for where to send the Google Trike - the three-wheeled photo-collecting bike. The 6 winners were: Stonehenge, The Millennium Stadium, Angel of the North, Loch Ness, Eden Project, Warwick Castle. The 'wildcard', chosen by VisitBritain, was Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland and was selected because it represents a hidden gem, off the beaten track. All were made available in late 2009. More info can be found here
• In December 2009 Google and UNESCO teamed up to put imagery of World Heritage sites into Street View. Imagery for 19 UNESCO sites has already been made available, from sites in Czech Republic, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
• In January 2010 Google announced a partnership with the National Trust which saw them making available 19 National Trust properties from around the UK. More info can be found here
About The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and RBG Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly 2 million visitors every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. RBG Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10 per cent of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30,000 species). The aim is to conserve 25% by 2020, and its enormous potential for future conservation can only be fulfilled with the support of the public and other funders.
Kew receives funding from the UK Government through Defra for approximately half of its income and is also reliant on support from other sources. Without the voluntary monies raised through membership, donations and grants, Kew would have to significantly scale back activities at a time when, as environmental challenges become ever more acute, its resources and expertise are needed in the world more than ever. Kew needs to raise significant funds both in the UK and overseas. Members of the public can support the work of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership by getting involved with the ‘Adopt a Seed, Save a Species' campaign. For £25 an individual can adopt a seed or for £1000 anyone can save an entire species. www.kew.org/adoptaseed.
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