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160 spots in Taiwan added to Google Street View

TAIPEI -- Google Inc. announced Monday that it has added more 360-degree images of Taiwan's scenic spots to Street View, the panoramic image viewer featured on Google Maps, as a travel reference ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

The U.S.-based search engine took pictures of 160 scenic places in Taiwan over the past half year — the largest single upgrade since the local project was launched in August 2009 — to bring the total number of “photospheres” of spots in the country to 410, it said in a statement.

The upgrade covers 17 counties and cities, including more than 30 scenic spots in Taroko National Park in Hualien, Yangmingshan National Park in Taipei and the offshore Kinmen National Park.

About a third of the new scenes were recorded using the Google Street View “Trekker,” a wearable backpack outfitted with a multidirectional camera system on top, which is used to photograph locations that are hard to reach by car, carts or bicycle.

That means Google Maps users can easily access landscapes such as the Zhuilu Old Trail in Taroko National Park, the Zhaishan Tunnel in Kinmen County and the Qingtiangang grassland on Yangmingshan Mountain with just a click.

Google announced in June last year that it was bringing the Trekker to Taiwan to gather more panoramic views of scenic spots.

Taiwan is the second country in the Asia-Pacific region to be documented by the Trekker, following a similar launch in Japan in 2012.

Google started its Street View project in 2007 in the United States, collecting street images by using cars packed with computers, cameras and global positioning system (GPS) devices.

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