Bringing "the place to the people" with Google Streetview
Internet users can now virtually stroll among the millions of seabirds and various historic sites on Midway Atoll (or, to use its Hawaiian name – "Pihemanu") using Google StreetView. PMNM teamed up with Internet giant Google using digital imagery and Web technology to bring Papahānaumokuākea to a broader audience in a way never before done, making good on our commitment to "bring the place to the people."
In a project spearheaded by the Monument, a team consisting of PMNM staff and a Google technician spent two weeks on Midway this summer, capturing more than 9,200 panoramic images of 60 different natural and historic sites along 21 miles of roads and paths on the island.
Midway boasts the largest nesting colonies of Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses in the world, and supports the first successfully reintroduced population of endangered Laysan ducks - the most endangered waterfowl in the Northern Hemisphere. The atoll and surrounding seas were the site of a pivotal battle of World War II, and Midway was an active Navy installation during the Cold War.
This mapping effort provides a valuable interpretive tool for Papahānaumokuākea's unique treasures and demonstrates the need to protect this remote and special place. We hope for a continued partnership with Google to capture other sites within the Monument.