THE Falkirk Wheel – the world’s only rotating boatlift – and some of Scotland’s historic waterways can now be seen by virtual visitors from Beijing to Barcelona on Google Street View.

Scottish Canals’ staff have trodden almost 140 miles of towpaths capturing some of Scotland’s most spectacular locations, from the myths and majesty of Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal to the west coast wonders of the Crinan Canal, using the tech giant’s Trekker – a 4ft, 40lbs backpack fitted with a 15-angle lens camera designed to take 360 pictures every 2.5 seconds.

Andrew McSherry, Scottish Canals’ head of ICT, said “When Scotland’s canals were first carved through the heart and Highlands of the nation during the Industrial Revolution, they were considered at the cutting edge of engineering and design. It’s been incredible to see every nook, cranny and lock captured using this 21st century equipment.

“The Trekker has been ideal for the narrower towpaths and bridges of Scotland’s canals and allows us to show off some of the more hard-to-reach places along the network. We’re delighted to be able to offer virtual visitors the chance to stand in the shadow of the Kelpies or take a turn on the Falkirk Wheel on Street View alongside such sights as the Grand Canyon and the Pyramids of Giza.”