Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 11:29 UK

Google view of Millennium Stadium

Millennium Stadium
Stadium bosses say the venue has brought 1bn to the Welsh economy

A 360-degree virtual tour of the Millennium Stadium is to be featured on Google Street View.

The Cardiff venue is one of six places voted to be specially filmed by the search engine's mobile mapping service.

The images of the 74,500-seat venue, both inside and out, will be gathered by a team using a three-wheeled cycle.

Other sites to be mapped are: the Angel of the North, Loch Ness, Stonehenge, the Eden Project, Warwick Castle and Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland.

Cardiff is already one of 25 British towns and cities with street-level images available on Google Street View, launched in April this year.

The Millennium Stadium was a winner in the online campaign launched by Google and the travel and tourism body VisitBritain asking the public to name their top tourist treasures.

The venue marks its 10th anniversary this year, with managers saying it it has brought over £1bn to the Welsh economy and supported 2,400 jobs.

Google trike and rider
The trike uses the same camera as the car which maps for Street View

It attracts over 1m visitors a year, almost half of them from outside Wales, by hosting the Six Nations rugby tournament, concerts by rock and pop giants ranging from U2, Bruce Springsteen to Oasis and Madonna as well as speedway, rugby league, rallying and monster truck racing.

The stadium also held the FA Cup finals and semi-finals while Wembley was being rebuilt.

Communications officer, John Williams, said the stadium was a "jewel in the crown of a proud nation".

He said: "Whether the stadium is in use for a rock or pop concert, hosting a major sporting event or conference, being used as a film set for shows like Doctor Who and Torchwood or even as a frequent backdrop to TV news items - in any one of its many guises - the versatile, retractable roofed- venue dominates its surroundings and remains instantly recognisable.

Face-blurring

Google said it had despatched the Google Street View Trike, an 18 stone (115 kg) machine with a camera mounted on pole behind the rider.

The trike is designed to make imagery collections in places less accessible by cars, such as historic landmarks and coastal paths.

Google said it would apply its face-blurring and licence plate blurring policy to the images, which will be made available at a later date in Street View on Google Maps.

Snowdon, Ben Nevis and the Giant's Causeway were also said to be three popular suggestions but Google took the view these would be "just too tricky" for someone to ride the trike.



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SEE ALSO
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25 Jun 09 |  Wales
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01 Dec 08 |  Wales
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