Abigail Klein Leichman
May 11, 2015
Volunteers are mapping Israel's National Trail with Google Street View cameras. Photo courtesy of SPNI
Volunteers are mapping Israel’s National Trail with Google Street View cameras. Photo courtesy of SPNI

 The 1,000-kilometer Israel National Trail is soon to achieve a world record as the longest trail photographed for Google Street View and the first one that runs the entire length of a country.

Over the next three months, about 80 members of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel’s youth movement will take turns hiking the entire length of the trail –from Kibbutz Dan in the north to SPNI’s Eilat Field School in the south — carrying two 18-kilogram (40-pound) Street View Trekker backpack cameras sent to Israel for the project.

“We are proud to cooperate with SPNI and delighted to map the Israel National Trail for hikers and users from Israel and around the world,” said Google Israel CEO Meir Brand. “When this project is completed, the Israel National Trail will be joining some of the world’s greatest heritage and nature sites on Google Maps, like the Pyramids of Giza, the Amazon River and Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temples.”

Google launched its 360-degree imaging project in 2007, and Street View came to Israel in 2012 – coincidentally, the same year National Geographic magazine included the Israel Trail on its list of “holy grails of trails across the world.”

“Exposing the Israel National Trail through Street View will encourage tourists from Israel and abroad to experience with their feet and their senses the various cultures and landscapes of Israel, to fall in love with them and to take action to preserve them,” SPNI CEO Moshe Pakman told the Jerusalem Post.