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Google Maps Heads North...Way North

Search for [cambridge bay] on Google Maps too you’ll wing to a tiny hamlet located deep inward the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut inward Canada’s Arctic, surrounded past times an intricate lacework of tundra, waterways too breaking ice. High inward a higher house the Arctic circle, it’s a house reachable only past times bird or boat. Zoom inward on the map, too this isolated hamlet of 1,500 people appears equally only a handful of streets, amongst names similar Omingmak (“musk ox”) Street too Tigiganiak (“fox”) Road.

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Cambridge Bay inward Google Maps

There are 4,000 years’ worth of stories waiting to last told on this map. Today, we’re setting out on an ambitious mission to say some of those stories too to construct the well-nigh comprehensive map of the share to date. It is the furthest northward the Google Maps Street View squad has traveled inward Canada, too our starting fourth dimension see to Nunavut. Using the tools of 21st century cartography, we’re empowering a community too putting Cambridge Bay on the proverbial map of tomorrow.

The hamlet of Cambridge Bay

We’re non doing it alone, but amongst the aid of the community too residents similar Chris Kalluk. We starting fourth dimension met Chris, who industrial plant for the nonprofit Nunavut Tunngavik, in conclusion September at our Google basis Outreach workshop inward Vancouver, where he learned how to edit Google Maps information using Google Map Maker. Today Chris played host to a community Map Up effect inward Cambridge Bay, where hamlet elders, local mapping experts too teenagers from the nearby high schoolhouse gathered unopen to a dozen Chromebooks too used Map Maker to add together novel roads, rivers too lakes to the Google Map of Cambridge Bay too Canada's North. But they didn’t goal there. Using both English linguistic communication too Inuktitut, 1 of Nunavut’s official languages, they added the hospital, daycare, a nine-hole golf game course, a territorial commons and, finally, the remnants of an ancient Dorset rock longhouse which pre-dates Inuit culture.

Catherine Moats, a fellow member of the Google Map Maker Team, working amongst Chris Kalluk too others at the Community Map Up.

Now we’re pedaling the Street View trike unopen to the gravel roads of the hamlet too using a tripod—the same used to capture business interiors—to collect imagery of these amazing places. We’ll prepare Chris too others inward the community to purpose some of this equipment too hence they tin sack move to other communities inward Nunavut too conk along to construct the well-nigh comprehensive too accurate map of Canada’s Arctic. As Chris set it to us, “This is a house amongst a vast total of local cognition too a rich history. By putting these tools inward the hands of our people, nosotros volition say Nunavut’s floor to the world.”

The Street View Trike collecting imagery of Cambridge Bay.

So remain tuned, world. We hold back frontwards to sharing amongst y'all the spectacular beauty too rich civilization of Canada’s Arctic—one of the well-nigh isolated places on the planet that volition before long be, thank y'all to the people of Cambridge Bay, but a click away.

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog too novel Google Canada Blog)

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