Google trike puts Ulster beauty spots in the frame

Sightings of a bizarre,over sized trike trundling around many of Ulster’s most scenic locations last summer have, at last, been explained.

Reaching speeds of up to two miles-per-hour, the trike was busy capturing images of Northern Ireland’s most treasured buildings and landscapes for the internet search engine, Google.

Mount Stewart House, Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House are included in the list of 20 National Trust properties and landscapes from across the UK which can now be explored online, giving people around the world the chance to plan a visit or catch a glimpse of places they might otherwise never see.  The pictures were taken late last summer using the comically designed three-wheeled-bike with a Street View camera mounted on it.  Google say the trike is perfectly suited to collecting images in places not easily accessible by car.  It’s estimated that the cyclists covered 125 miles on the 18-stone Trike, moving at an average speed of two miles per hour while collecting the National Trust images.

Since then, the images have been processed and carefully stitched together by Google to give a seamless 360-degree view of the various buildings and their grounds.

However, the greatest challenge still lies ahead for the Google trike.  Later this year, the bike will travel to  the world heritage site – the Giant’s Causeway.  Ed Parsons, a geospatial technologist from Google, said: “Places like Downhill Demesne and Mount Stewart offer all of us a special glimpse of the history, nature and architecture up and down the country.  We are delighted to be able to open up some of the UK’s most famous landmarks to the rest of the world, via the web.  It’s a fun way to research what to see and do on a day out or whet your appetite for where to go next.”

To take a virtual tour visit www.maps.google.co.uk/streetview and click on the National Trust logo towards the bottom of the page.

If you are planning a tour of Ireland or visiting Belfast on a cruise ship the images may help you plan your trip with Ireland Luxury Tours……..we want you to see the sights that interest you personally and our Belfast tours cater for the sights that are accessible from the city.