Google Street View Takes You on a Panoramic Tour of the Grand Canyon

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With Google’s Street View we can amble through New York City’s High Line Park, around the Nation­al Muse­um of Iraq in Bagh­dad, and down the cob­bled streets of Ouro Pre­to, Brazil. Now we can also take a vir­tu­al hike along the rim of the Grand Canyon, fol­low­ing Google’s cam­eras along the his­toric Bright Angel trail from its start at the south rim all the way down the Black Bridge over the Col­orado Riv­er and on to the Phan­tom Ranch camp­ing area.

It’s a per­fect way to check out the ter­rain before tak­ing off for an Ari­zona vaca­tion.

Unlike views in Google’s ear­li­er Street View maps, the Grand Canyon pho­tos are tak­en along rocky, nar­row trails where no car, snow mobile, or motor­bike could ever go. So how did Google col­lect all of the nec­es­sary images?

The Grand Canyon project is the first to uti­lize Trekker, a back­pack-mount­ed cam­era appa­ra­tus worn by a hik­er that takes a pic­ture every 2.5 sec­onds. Trekker weighs 40 pounds and is oper­at­ed by an Android phone held by the hik­er. It has 15 cam­eras point­ed in dif­fer­ent angles that can be com­bined to cre­ate panoram­ic views.

Fol­low the South Kaibab Trail to Skele­ton Point for majes­tic 360-degree views of the misty blue Canyon. It took three days to cap­ture the main trails of the Canyon’s south rim. Two teams hiked down the Bright Angel Trail, camped at Phan­tom Ranch and hiked out the next day along the South Kaibab Trail. Anoth­er team stayed at the top, col­lect­ing images from the rim and from Mete­or Crater out­side the park.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Reef View: Google Gives Us Stun­ning Under­wa­ter Shots of Great Coral Reefs

Google Presents an Inter­ac­tive Visu­al­iza­tion of 100,000 Stars

Google Art Project Expands, Bring­ing 30,000 Works of Art from 151 Muse­ums to the Web

Kate Rix writes about dig­i­tal media and edu­ca­tion. Read more of her work at .

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