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Google Street View Maps the Grand Canyon

Google’s Street View entered new territory this week:  the Grand Canyon.

Having already captured more than 3,000 cities around the world, along with the Smithsonian and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Google’s Street Map team began a new venture: mapping the Grand Canyon.

To do so, they had to invent a new rig called the Trekker. The Trekker packs most of a Google Street View car’s capabilities into a backpack that weighs around 40 pounds. The rig houses its 15 cameras, which take a photo every 2.5 seconds, in a large spherical structure that reaches high over the hiker’s head to ensure unobstructed views.

Google sent teams of hikers down the Bright Angel Trail for the Trekker’s first voyage and images should be ready once they have been stitched together to create those signature seamless panoramic views.  Whether they help hikers find their way in the Canyon, they’re sure to be eye candy for those who can’t make the trip.