The Basingstoke Canal Society has teamed up with not-for-profit organisation Trek View to capture 360-degree imagery along the entire navigable length of the Basingstoke Canal. It is available for the first time today on Trek View’s own platform, Explorer, allowing anyone with an internet connection to virtually stroll – or cruise – along the Canal, no matter where they are. This imagery will also appear on Google’s Street View in due course.
If this fails to display correctly, please try clicking twice on the top-right corner of the inset, lower left
Most people are familiar with Google Street View cars which tour the world capturing images of the public roads but using compact backpacks trekkers can now capture views of narrow waterways and paths and these have been used in places like the Grand Canyon, the world’s tallest buildings and highest peaks.
The images of the Canal were captured by Trek View throughout 2019 with a bespoke 360 degree camera and backpack combination carried by a stand up paddleboarder along the full 32 mile route from Greywell Tunnel in Hampshire to the junction with the Wey Navigation in Byfleet, Surrey.
The Trekker captured a 360 degree picture every 5 seconds which are tagged with GPS coordinates so they can be mapped and then ‘stitched’ together to produce a seamless progression along the canal.
The Basingstoke Canal, owned by Surrey and Hampshire County Councils and managed by their agent the Basingstoke Canal Authority, now joins a number of other canals and rivers within the UK which are available for anyone to browse online, including the Wey Navigation, and also Bingley five-rise locks, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Little Venice.
With more organisations globally loaning Trek View cameras, ‘armchair explorers’ can view more of these remote and hard-to-reach places than ever before.
Ken Sankey, Co-Vice-Chairman of The Basingstoke Canal Society, said: “We’re delighted that, as a result of a Trek View initiative, the Basingstoke Canal can now be cruised online, and will be added to Google Street View shortly. We want more people to find out about the great locations and things to do on the Canal. Hopefully the online footage will inspire new visitors, whether they are from abroad, finding a new route to work or school, or already use the Canal regularly but want to discover new places to go. We hope that it will also encourage individuals to support the Canal in a meaningful way, not only by visiting it, but through volunteering, Society membership and donations.”
David Greenwood, Chief Adventurer at Trek View adds: “What a journey! The Basingstoke Canal is teeming with activity – and not just canal boaters. From rare wildlife nestled along the banks, historical artifacts telling stories from previous centuries, to those exploring more sporting pursuits. The Basingstoke Canal has it all. Supporting the Basingstoke Canal Authority, the work the Society and others continually perform to maintain this important local asset really shows. They have made it a place all of the family will enjoy exploring – we certainly did.”
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Here are some links to other start points along the Canal (all full screen):
- Greywell tunnel
- Colt Hill wharf
- Barley Mow Bridge
- Reading Road Wharf
- Ash Lock
- Ash Wharf
- Canal Centre (east)
- Lock 28 (east)
- Lock 15
- Hermitage Bridge, Woking
- Woking Town Wharf
- Lock 6
- Wey junction (note that you can cruise the Wey Navigation as well).
- To navigate, click on the arrows at the bottom of the screen, or at the top.
- Use the mouse to change the direction of view.
- The thick arrow at the top shows a continuous slideshow view (but only in one direction).
- The linking of photos has a few breaks. To resume on the other side of a bridge, lock etc, click on the top right arrow on the map at the bottom left to expand it, select where you want to continue from, and then expand the imagery again.