Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Google Street View lets users take a virtual hike through the Grand Canyon


February 4, 2013

Google Maps used backpack-mounted cameras to capture stunning 360-degree panoramic images of the Grand Canyon

Google Maps used backpack-mounted cameras to capture stunning 360-degree panoramic images of the Grand Canyon

Image Gallery (15 images)

In recent months, Google Maps has ramped up its cartographical efforts to provide more detailed maps of North Korea and take users to more exotic locations like snow-covered mountains and underwater coral reefs via Street View. Now thanks to the Trekker, Google's own backpack-mounted camera system, users can explore stunning 360-degree panoramic images on a virtual hike through the Grand Canyon.

A team of five people outfitted with Trekkers and accompanied by ten Google engineers walked the trails of the majestic canyon and gathered images over a period of three days. Another company called Nature Valley Trail View mounted a similar expedition using its own 360-degree camera system last year, but Google plans to incorporate the recent images into Google Maps' global service.

Each Trekker uses 15 cameras connected to an Android device to capture full 360-degree panoramic shots of the scenic views around the wearer. In total, the team took 9,500 panoramas, which covered 75 miles (121 km) of paths in and around Grand Canyon National Park. The team also recorded some well-known trails and landmarks in the area, including the Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, Phantom Ranch, South Rim Trail, and Meteor Crater.

The beautiful scenery the team saw is now available to view in Street View, letting users explore the same trails from the comfort of their computer desk. Google hopes to capture more environments that are only accessible on foot in a similar fashion in the future, from thick forests to ancient castles.

You can explore the Grand Canyon on Street View yourself or watch the video below to get an idea of what to expect.

Source: Google

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher
1 Comment

I see two sides to this. First I lived about 1:45 so in Prescott, AZ for yrs. I spent a lot of time photographing and hiking GC. That said, I felt a great sense of accomplishment from my hikes below the rim. I felt like I earned those views. Conversely, I see this giving access to those who can't either physically go below or aren't Mule friendly...All stories have three sides: mine, yours and the truth...All around I like the tech but it nor any photo give the scale and depth justice...trust me 40K frames later I have one or two like, not love.....

Justin Schetrompf
Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles