Google Maps has introduced quite a few improvements lately, especially for Street View. With Google exploring remote locations around the world, Google Maps has become more than just way to grab directions to dinner tonight – it’s now a tool for exploring the world from the comfort of your home. Now, using Street View you can explore the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic (seen above), and more. Now with Street View Treks Google offers you a behind-the-scenes look at how these Street Views are made.
Google’s Street View Treks program allows the company to capture the hard-to-access locales available on Street View. Using a special wearable camera apparatus called the “Trekker,” Google team members capture panoramic images of places around the world that are not accessible by the Google Street View car such as the Grand Canyon or the Amazon Basin. The Trekker, which looks like a strange orb sticking out of a backpack, runs on Android and consists of 15 lenses at the top of a mast, each angled in a different direction so that the Google team can stitch together 360-degree panoramas from the captured images and bring these locations to Google’s map of the world. Team members strap the Trekker onto their backs and explore via foot, diving, or, in the case of Iqaluit, dog sleds.
In the video below, Christopher Kalluk, a member of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and a Nunavut native, speaks about why he hiked Iqaluit with the Street View Trekker on his back. “I wanted to invite people to the Arctic. I want people to know we exist up here,” he says. Check out the making of Inqaluit’s Street View, and visit the Treks page for more behind-the-scenes footage of the making of these remote Google Street Views – each is more interesting than the last!
Screenshot from “Explore Views of the Canadian Arctic with Google Maps“
Which Google Street View Treks footage is your favorite? Share with us in the comments section!