A fl eet of Google Street View cars has been capturing panoramic images of our roads and buildings for some time now, but there are certain areas they haven’t been able to reach. Well, until now. The solution lies in a 1.2-metre (four-foot)-tall, backpack-mounted camera called the Trekker. Kitted out with 15 lenses – each attached to a
fi ve-megapixel camera – it takes a photograph every 2.5 seconds, sweeping in a full panorama.
It weighs a hefty 19 kilograms (42 pounds), but volunteers seem very keen to take it into the wilderness. Charitable organisations, research institutions and the tourism industry are all eligible to apply to borrow the Trekker equipment, giving Google access to areas unreachable by their car-mounted cameras, and eventually allowing
people to virtually explore national parks, ruined buildings and other diffi cult-to-reach areas like canyons and caves.
The equipment has already been used to map several hiking trails, including the Grand Canyon, and in the UK the complex network of canals and waterways has been recorded.