Google map truck

Search for polar bears in Google’s new tundra street view map

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(Image via CBC)

Happy International Polar Bear Day!

To celebrate, take a Google Maps Street View virtual tour of the Cape Churchill and Wapusk National Park in Northern Manitoba, released today for the occasion.

A few years ago, Google Maps, which has busied itself with the unenviable task of mapping the world, launched an amazing function called “Street View,” which allows you to explore an interactive first-person view of an area. To achieve this technological feat,  Multi-cam rigs are deployed to snap 360 degree photos of the environment, like this one:

Google trekker rig

Google has partnered with Polar Bears International to apply this marvellous technology to a patch of tundra teeming with polar bears. And you can take part.

“You have the opportunity to see polar bears in natural habitat. There’s imagery of sparring bears – this behaviour that we see with male bears where they stand up on their hind legs and kind of play fight. There’s images of a mom nursing a cub,” said Krista Wright, Executive Director of Polar Bears International.

Ready to explore? You can find the Google Street View by clicking here, and can move about virtually by clicking where you’d like to go on the screen. Wright suggests looking near the sea ice for the best polar bear moments.

For more polar bear action, check out the Churchill Polar Bear Cam.