Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
Did the eerie Japanese island that inspired the villain’s hideout in James Bond movie Skyfall pique your attention? Google Maps is now letting users immerse themselves in the island’s sinister atmosphere via Street View imagery — you go visit here.
Hashima Island, commonly known as Gunkanjima or “Battleship Island” due to its flat shape, is an uninhabited island in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture. It was once a coal mining facility and residential complex for about 5,000 people starting in the late 19th century, but was completely abandoned after the decline of coal mining in the 1970s. Public access was allowed in 2009 for tourists.
Google is giving users 360° panoramas of Battleship Island, and some of the imagery collected with the Google Trekker goes beyond the cordoned-off areas for tourists and into paths that are off-limits. You can also peek into the abandoned buildings to see black-and-white television sets and discarded soda bottles.
The bad guy in Skyfall, Raoul Silva (portrayed by Javier Bardem), lived in a crumbling city in the middle of the Pacific identified as being near Macau, but it actually drew its inspiration from Battleship Island. Crew couldn’t film on the island itself due to its dangerous state of disrepair, so production designer Dennis Gassner visited the island instead and recreated a section at Pinewood Studio in the UK, with other parts rendered digitally.
This cool view of Battleship Island is already available — if you click here — and Google has posted a video of certain scenes:
Headline image via Google
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