Google Street View and Parks Canada

November 21, 2013

Google has teamed up with Parks Canada to photograph and add trails and historic sites to their Google Maps Street View service. For some, it’s a dream to visit many of Canada’s National Parks but this can prove to be challenging in such a large country and where some of the parks are located in relatively remote areas.

Now you can click and view some of these parks from your computer. Here are some examples of what’s been added to Google Street View (click on the images to view them in Google Maps Street View):

Google Street View of Johnston Canyon Banff

Johnston Canyon in Banff – View in Google Street View

Google Street View of Emerald Lake near Banff

Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, BC – View in Google Street View

Google Street View of Giant Cedars Boardwalk

Giant Cedars Boardwalk in Mount Revelstoke National Park – View in Google Street View

Google Street View of Gulf Island National Park

Gulf Island National Park, BC – View in Google Street View

Lake Louise Street View

Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta – View in Google Street View

Mount Revelstoke National Park Street View

Mount Revelstoke National Park, BC – View in Google Street View

How Does It Work?

I’ve found it a bit challenging to find the actual “street viewed” areas of the parks as it’s a matter of searching for the Parks Canada site and then dragging the Street View Character onto the map, which then causes the mapped areas to appear in blue. The challenge is that in some of the large National Parks that are hundreds of square kilometers, there is only a few kilometers of trail that is available on Street View, so it’s easy to miss.

The following image shows the blue “Street Viewed” trails after dragging the orange character over the map. The little window gives you a preview of what you will see at that particular point and you can drop the character at any point along the blue lines to see the full-screen image of that point.

Hiking Trails in Google Street View

How Did Google Do This?

Google has gone to great lengths to drive cars throughout the world in their quest of photographing and adding imagery to their maps. The bulky camera system has been shrunk to a backpack sized device, known as a Trekker, that can be carried along trails and indoors.

A Google Canada employee walks through the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia

A Google Canada employee walks through the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia, a Parks Canada site that has been added to Google Street View (photo by Aaron Brindle / Google Canada)

Parks Canada Sites on Street View

The addition of imagery to Google Street View of Parks Canada sites will be a valuable tool for trip planning and as an educational tool for use in schools. This is just a start of what can be expected in our near future.

For now, here’s a complete list of the parks and sites that have been added so far:

  • Alexander Graham Bell National Historic
  • Ardgowan National Historic Site
  • Arsenal Foundarie
  • Artillery Park
  • Balsam Lake
  • Banff National Park
  • Batoche National Historic Site
  • Bellevue House National Historic Site
  • Black Rapids Lockstation
  • Bow Lake
  • Cabot Tower
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park
  • Cape Spear
  • Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site
  • Carriage Shed
  • Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site
  • Castle Hill National Historic Site
  • Cave and Basin
  • Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site
  • Elk Island National Park
  • Emerald Lake
  • Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site
  • Fort Anne National Historic Site
  • Fort Battleford National Historic Site
  • Fort Langley National Historic Site
  • Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site
  • Fort Walsh National Historic Site
  • Fort Wellington National Historic Site
  • Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site
  • Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
  • Giant Cedars Boardwalk Trail
  • Glacier National Park
  • Grand Pre National Historic Site
  • Grasslands National Park
  • Green Gables Heritage Place
  • Gros Morne National Park
  • Gulf Islands National Park
  • Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
  • Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
  • Hartwell’s Lockstation
  • Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site
  • HMCS Haida National Historic Site
  • Hogs Back Lockstation
  • Jakes Landing
  • Jeremys Bay
  • Johnston Canyon
  • Jones Falls Lockstation
  • Kejimkujik Dark Sky Preserve
  • Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
  • Kingston Mills Lockstation
  • Kootenay National Park
  • L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
  • La Mauricie National Park
  • Lake Louise
  • Lévis Forts National Historic Site
  • LM Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site
  • Meadows in the Sky Parkway
  • Merrickville Lockstation
  • Montmorency Park National Historic Site
  • Monument-Lefebvre National Historic Site
  • Morraine Lake
  • Mount Revelstoke
  • Officers Quarters
  • Ottawa Lockstation
  • Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site
  • Prince Albert National Park
  • Prince Edward Island National Park
  • Promenade des Gouverneurs
  • Province House National Historic Site
  • Ramparts of Quebec City
  • Red Rock Canyon Trailhead
  • Redoute Dauphine
  • Rideau Canal National Historic Site
  • Riding Mountain National Park
  • Riel House National Historic Site
  • Signal Hill National Historic Site
  • Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk
  • Skyline Trail
  • St Andrews Rectory National Historic Site
  • Terrasse Dufferin
  • The Forks
  • Thousand Islands National Park
  • Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Woodside National Historic Site
  • Yoho National Park
  • York Redoubt National Historic Site

One response to “Google Street View and Parks Canada”

  1. Jason says:

    This is really cool but I can’t believe Pacific Rim National Park in Tofino isn’t included in this initial list. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world and trails, like the Rainforest Trail, would be perfect for Street View. I guess it’s just a matter of time though before everything is on Google Maps.

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