The Magic Behind Google Maps Street View

Six years ago, Google Maps began the street view experiment:

When we first started Street View as an experimental project, we packed several computers into the back of an SUV, stuck cameras, lasers, and a GPS device on top, and drove around collecting our first imagery. Since Street View launched for five U.S. cities in May 2007, we’ve expanded our 360-degree panoramic views to include locations on all seven continents.

We then moved to a van for a brief period, before switching to a fleet of cars that would allow us to scale the project throughout the US and around the world. We went from a rack of computers to one small computer per car, and then set to work refining our camera system to capture higher-resolution panoramic views.

Over the years, they graduated their equipment vehicles from trike to trolley to snowmobile. Now, they’re recruiting trekkers to capture every inaccesible corner of the world with the Street View Backpack.

And you can apply to become a trekker

Images: Selected images from Google Maps Street View - Cars, Trikes and More

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    There is a Google snowmobile? What a great job!
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