Google maps continues to amaze me. Not only does it help me navigate traffic on the go (for free), give me transit directions in unfamiliar cities, and let me fly a plane, now it lets me take vacations to places I haven’t been able to get to yet.
Behold, the Google Walking Tour of the Grand Canyon (available thanks to street maps).
I have an odd mental image of them tying all the street-view equipment to a touring donkey.
But don’t worry, no animals were harmed in the filming of this trail. Google’s gotten its equipment down to the size of a backpack, sorta (called the “Trekker”.
The Trekker is operated by an Android device and consists of 15 lenses at the top of the mast, each angled in a different direction that will enable us to stitch together a 360-degree panoramic view. It took a team of 10 Googlers and 5 Trekkers about 3 full days to adequately capture the main trails of the Grand Canyon’s south rim.
Before I travel, I tend to check out Google Street Views so I can familiarize myself with the landmarks in the area I’ll be in. It confuses people sometimes when I know where I’m going when driving too, and know odd-exit routes.
Tiff and I volunteer to use this on a trek through the Mall of America!