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South Africa: Google map diversifies tourism through 'Mzansi Experience'

Google

As many countries continue to experience timid economy, South Africa has now embarked on improving its tourism sector which has so far been one of the major income earners for the country.

Developers in South Africa diversified the Google map and street view by introducing elements of better images and videos to describe tourist sites. The idea has been termed as “The Mzansi experience.”

Speaking with AFP, Mich Atagana, director of communications and public affairs at Google South Africa, linked Mzansi experience to real time experience that will fascinate tourists.

There are some people who can never afford to physically come to South Africa and see these places in their lifetime, and hopefully this will give them the opportunity to experience it a little bit

“The Mzansi experience is part of Google maps and street view. We have created a gallery of all these images, which you can access through Google Maps. The camera used is called a tracker; it has 19 cameras and it catches a 360-degree view of an area, and when you access the images on Google maps, it is almost as good as walking through the area itself,” he said.

According to Atagana, the idea of Mzansi experience is to show South Africans and international travellers the natural beauty of South Africa. Some of the sites they are launching include, Kruger Park, Table Mountain, Cape Point, and Kirstenbosch Gardens.

The idea is also aimed at researchers who might not physically visit the places but may need to have a picture of the real landscape. It will also entice more people who want to experience the real scene.

“Even South Africans who do not have the means to go to Kruger can also experience that. This is a very important part of this. It is a window for people who want to experience and look at it and get on a plane to go, which is great and we encourage that, there are some people who can never afford to physically come to South Africa and see these places in their lifetime, and hopefully this will give them the opportunity to experience it a little bit,” said Atagana.

The idea of Mzansi experience is now aiming at improving the tourism sector in South Africa through building a a better reserve of images to widen the experience, using images collected by Google in partnership with SANParks, Google has created 360-degree imagery of some of South Africa’s top tourist locations.