Google launched the virtual tour on March. The idea to create such tour came to four Googlers when they decided to go to the Everest Base Camp in 2011. They figured that they could capture images of the trip for Google Maps with a tripod and digital cameras, and later make the images available for everyone to see.
Trekking to the Everest Base Camp was a 12-day adventure through mudslides, snowstorms, earthquakes and most importantly breathtaking nature. The team hiked for more than 50 hours and captured more than 45,000 panoramic images.
Today, the Google Street View project enables the viewers to embark on a virtual tour into the heart of Sagarmatha National Park and to the remote Himalayan villages inhabited by the ethnic Sherpa community.
Not too many people around the world know about the existence of these villages. Nepal’s Sherpa community have long been guides on mountaineering expeditions and now with the virtual tour, they hope to gain more attention from the public to promote the region and raise funds for education.
Apa Sherpa, a Nepalese guide who worked on the virtual tour project, mentioned in an interview for BBC that his dream is that, “one day, young kids in Nepal won’t have to risk working on the mountain as porters or guides, they will be able to get an education and build better lives for themselves.”