Explore this Japanese town using cat street view (Wired UK)

A screenshot of cat street view

Hiroshima Prefecture

Japan is already famous for appointing its very own cat stationmaster, and now the country has taken its enthusiastic embrace of all things feline to the next level: allowing you to wander the streets from a cat‘s perspective.

Cat street view, a new project launched by Hiroshima prefecture, is an interactive map of the port town of Onomichi, famed for its beautiful temples — and large population of cats. Indeed, it’s even home to a museum of waving “maneki-neko” cat dolls, making it the perfect location for what’s allegedly the world’s first ever “cat’s-eye view” technology.

The tool, which uses 360-degree cameras similar to those found on Google Maps, allows you to wander a shopping arcade and surrounding areas, exploring cat-friendly establishments and a selection of 11 pet cats who live in the district. Meta-tags also alert you to nearby cats with links to their bios, and — just in case there was any chance of forgetting that you’re now firmly in cat world — each mouse click is soundtracked with a meow.

A Hiroshima tourism official said of the map’s bizarre inspiration: “We were seeking to introduce a different way to look at our cities and offer a view of the streets that wasn’t available before.” 

The tourist board has said it will add more maps in October, including cat’s-eye views of Onomichi’s Misode Shrine area. 

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4 September 2015 | 3:05 pm – Source: wired.co.uk


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