Google Inc. announced June 18 that Google Street View will have a special section to record the reconstruction process of coastal areas of northeastern Japan that were devastated by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Although the Internet search engine operator has already captured images of streets and collapsed buildings in the Tohoku region, the new section will have photos of the coastline taken from the sea off the Sanriku coast to chronicle how the area has recovered from the disaster. The new photos will be available on Google Street View in January.
“The recovery in coastal areas, seen from the ocean, will start on a full-scale basis from now,” said Shigeru Sugawara, the mayor of Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. “I expect (the new service) to show to future generations the mood of recovery in these coastal areas.”
Recently, the coastal regions ravaged by the tsunami have been rapidly changing as construction work proceeds. Construction of seafood processing plants and residences are well under way, and levees to block tsunami have been planned.
Google officials said the project is meant to record the changing landscape and provide multi-angle views.
On June 18, Google photographers began taking photos from the sea off the coast of Kesennuma.
When shooting images on land, Google workers lug the recording equipment on their backs. To take pictures from the sea, Google remodeled existing equipment so it could be mounted on boats.
Residents and others involved in the tourism industry and familiar with nearby waters are expected to help Google record the reconstruction progress in areas ranging from Miyako in Iwate Prefecture to Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture.