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Google gets inside Botanic Gardens

THE National Botanic Gardens are now accessible to a global audience, indoors and out, as Google Street View goes inside its famous glasshouse.

Curator Paul Maher said they had jumped at the chance to be visible online.

Researchers from the internet giant came in on their bikes and cycled around the gardens with a camera mounted to the frame. Then, in an unusual turn of events, they went indoors to capture the Palm House.

"They were thrilled to do it," said Mr Maher.

"We were amazed at their ability to achieve this and bring the Botanic Gardens to a worldwide audience."

The footage shows the inside of the biggest glasshouse in the famous garden and gives a close-up view of the rarest plants in the Palm House.


Mr Maher, who has worked in the gardens for 40 years, said the Google team were hardly noticeable and only spent a morning in the grounds.

Cameras captured the Botanic Gardens and glasshouse in September 2010, and Mr Maher said it is the "country's best-kept secret".

The 215-year-old attraction hit the headlines last week when it was discovered that the earliest snowdrops for 40 years had blossomed there.

Other famous locations on Google Street View around the country include the Ceide Fields in Co Mayo and Kilkenny Castle.

Google Street View usually covers outdoor locations in big cities, but it took on the Grand Canyon in Arizona recently, with the footage going viral.