Want to help Google Maps go where no maps have gone before? Sign up to wear the Google Street View Trekker backpack.
It’s been a while since Google Maps were simply digital road maps. Now, these living charts show us public transit, the best routes for walking and biking, and can even show you what your destination will look like before you arrive.
Brought to you by those colorful cars with the funny spherical cameras on top, Google Street View lets you explore places around the world through 360-degree street-level imagery. Now, however, Google is taking maps far beyond the street.
Extreme mapping expeditions have taken Google adventurers and their sophisticated panoramic cameras to the ends of the Earth in an attempt to make the entire world accessible from a laptop screen. With Google Street View, you can now hike the Grand Canyon, explore the ocean floor, or visit your favorite National Park, all from the comfort of your couch.
Until recently, driving the Google car or participating in one of these daring mapping expeditions was a privilege reserved for the few. But now, Google Street View is giving average outdoor enthusiasts a chance to get in on the action.
The tech giant recently debuted the Trekker backpack. Outfitted with a camera system on top, it enables the wearer to gather images while maneuvering through tight, narrow spaces or locations only accessible by foot. “The Trekker enables Street View to feature more places around the world – places no car, trike, trolley or snowmobile can access,” explains Google. The camera is “operated by an Android device and consists of 15 lenses angled in a different direction so the images can be stitched together into 360-degree panoramic views. As the operator walks, photos are taken roughly every 2.5 seconds.”
Anyone–from University students to tourism boards–who wants to help collect imagery of hard to reach places can apply to borrow the Trekker and help map the world. Apply here!