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Google Seeking Adventurous Backpackers for Maps Expansion

Google Maps is going off-road and soliciting the assistance of intrepid hikers to record terrain for its Street View maps. The company created its camera-equipped Terrain backpack specifically to gather data on those areas inaccessible by paved roads. Google explained, “The Trekker is operated by an Android device and consists of 15 lenses angled in different directions so that the images can be stitched together into 360-degree panoramic views. As the operator walks, photos are taken roughly every 2.5 seconds. Our first collection using this camera technology was taken along the rough, rocky terrain of Arizona’s Grand Canyon.” The 42-pound backpack has also been used to map Japan’s Gunkanjima Island, a deserted island off the country’s west coast originally established for coal mining. Those interested in participating are asked to apply to use the backpack with a description of why they want to participate and whether they can obtain the permissions necessary to access the desired destinations. Google has previously used vehicles such as trolleys and snowmobiles to gather difficult-to-obtain images for Street View. (Ars Technica)(The Daily Mail)(NBC News)(Google)

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