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Google Street View Expands to Hiking Trails

Google has created a backpack-mounted camera to get detailed footage of trails where cars can’t tread.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ae5MzPKAQ4

If you own a computer, smartphone, or other internet-enabled gadget, chances are you’ve spent some time on Google Maps’ Street View feature, figuring out where you’re going to park or maybe checking out the most exciting street in the world. It's a nifty tool, but it's not without limitations; it pretty much only shows us places where cars can travel. But not for long. Google is now working on expanding Street View to hiking trails.


At a demo event last week, Google showed off the Street View Trekker, a backpack-mounted camera that the company is using to get detailed footage of trails where cars can’t tread. The hulking, clunky-looking device might seem like a less-than-practical way for Google to map out footpaths, but it’s actually pretty lightweight, and it can be controlled by an Android smartphone.

Only a few Trekkers have been built so far, so it might take the company a while to create comprehensive hiking maps, but this is still exciting news. Next time you’re looking for a good place to take a walk, you might have a new resource to search for ideas. And next time you’re looking for a good place to park, perhaps you’ll be inspired to take a hike.

Video via Google

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