Fancy hiking four coastal 'Everests' with 42lb pack for Google StreetView?
The ultimate retirement challenge is up for grabs – mapping the entire length of the South West Coast Path for Google's latest online imaging software.
The internet giant is extending its StreetView technology to cover pedestrian routes across the globe, using a rucksack-mounted camera system called Google Trekker.
It has already been used to map out the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu and the view from world's tallest building in Dubai.
In Britain the technology was given a more humble debut yesterday, mapping the Regent's Canal in London.
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Staff and volunteers for the Canal and River Trust are set to cover about 100 miles of towpath, carrying the Trekker device. The first images are expected to be on Google Maps early next year.
But Google is inviting other organisations to borrow the Trekker, with the aim of uploading 3-D imagery of Britain's paths, from the highest peaks to the most remote beaches.
The South West Coast Path Team (SWCPT) says mapping the 631 miles of walkway around the Westcountry could provide the "ideal retirement" project.
The only downside is the intrepid hiker would have to carry the 4ft backpack, which weighs 42lb and is mounted with 15 cameras that record images every 2.5 seconds.
Sally King, the visitor manager at the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site in Dorset and Devon, said the trip would involve climbing and descending 115,000 feet – almost four times the height of Everest.
Mark Owen, national trails officer for the SWCPT, said he had lugged a 30lb pack to map the stages of the walk while mapping global positioning system (GPS) co-ordinates in 1999 and 2000.
"People tend to walk the whole path after a lifestyle change or early retirement – it could be the ideal retirement project and the ultimate way to record your trip," he added.
"They would certainly get a good deal of exercise – though you could do it in relays – and I am guessing you would have to walk alone otherwise your companion would be in the shot. We were the first in the UK to appear on Google maps so it would be great to get on Street View as well."
Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and president of the Ramblers, said B&Bs, cafes, pubs and shops, could advertise to walkers, riders and cyclists, adding: "This will bring valuable income to rural communities."