CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) — USS Constitution worked with Google Maps to record a virtual tour of 'Old Ironsides' this morning aboard the ship.
Google Maps photographed the ship to create a virtual 360-degree experience of Constitution in preparation for the ship's scheduled dry-dock period in March 2015.
"People around the country and across the world will have the opportunity to experience Constitution online," said Cmdr. Sean Kearns, Constitution's 73rd commanding officer, "This capability will be especially important while most areas of the ship are inaccessible during her restoration."
The 216-year-old warship will be added to the list of historical landmarks that Google Maps has available for online tours. Among the list are the Taj Mahal, The Louvre Museum, underwater reefs, and regular street views from around the world. To date, Google Maps has been able to cover 57 different countries.
The Constitution, however, is considered a "street view special collect," said Curt Fennell, a Google Maps Systems Administrator, and U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
"We like to have as much information as possible, it's our mission. The USS Constitution is a national treasure. Since she will be unavailable for a few years, we want to make her available for viewers from all over," Fennell said.
'Old Ironsides' will be moving to dry-dock in 2015, and the restoration is scheduled to last three years.
The virtual tour will help Constitution and history enthusiasts view and experience the ship as she presently looks at her berth in Charlestown Navy Yard before preparations begin to de-rig and offload the ship in the upcoming months.
USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. Now a featured destination on Boston's Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship's history and the importance of naval seapower to more than 500,000 visitors each year.
For more news and information on USS Constitution, visit www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution, www.facebook.com/ussconstitutionofficial and www.navy.mil/local/constitution/.