Five new locations within Papahanaumoukuakea (PMNM) are now live on Google Maps’ Street View.
Internet users can now virtually visit Tern Island and East Island at French Frigate Shoals, Laysan Island, Lisianski Island, and Pearl and Hermes Atoll.
They are some of the primary land masses of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), which is also part of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
In July 2013, PMNM staff from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) spent a week capturing thousands of new panoramas of the incredible features in the Monument. The group covered 20 miles of land on foot using the Google Street View Trekker.
"The goal of collecting this imagery was to show the world how special and important the remote islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are, in turn inspiring the next generation of conservationists and supporters,” said Kalewa Correa, NOAA’s Mokupapapa Discovery Center manager and project leader. “We hope that bringing the Monument to the people through Google Street View will reach a larger audience but with minimal environmental impact, helping to preserve this amazing place for the future."
In 2012, Google Street View went live with imagery of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. In total, more than ten thousand images across 41 miles have been captured from within the Monument.
Monument managers also plan to use the imagery as an assessment tool to capture the present conditions and health of the NWHI.