Camper and Nicholsons

Sea ID launches Port View: Google Street view on the water

29th Sep 2014

The Monaco Yacht Show saw the launch of a brilliant new innovation for yacht crew and pleasure boating: the ability to virtually ‘step onto the water’ and view the approach and inside of worldwide ports from a yacht’s eye view.

Having had the great idea of bringing Google street view to the sea, Portview creator Kenneth Himschoot approached Google headquarters in Mountain View, California and created an ongoing partnership to undertake the project of photographing the world’s ports from the water.

In a nutshell, Portview is Google Street View, but with the photography taken from a Jetski and with additional layers of information on top (navigational markers, signs for boats for sale, local businesses etc). Yacht crew will now be able to see their workplace appear on Google Maps and Captains and navigators are able to see what the port looks like before they maneuver inside.

In addition to the challenge of kitting out their jetskis with the specially designed Google cameras, Sea ID has already had to jump through several hoops in order to obtain the special permits needed to take their jetski's to various forbidden bays and ports. This hasn’t been their only challenge however – at one point they even ran into a great white shark who took a particular interest in their funny looking Jetski.

Professional yacht crew aren’t the only ones to gain value out of this great project, business owners and yachting amateurs will benefit just as much. During the summer of 2014, Portview were seen collecting images in a few of the main ports in the South of France and Monaco, and these are already available to view online with a view to adding more as the project unfolds. Check out Portview online here

by Camper Nicholsons

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