Thanks to Google’s quest to show us the known and lesser-know world with 360 degree panoramic shots, full HD Video and timelapse sequences, we can how virtually trek through 75-miles of trails in the Grand Canyon with the click of a mouse.
Google is going off road and into the wilderness, with Street View and the “World Wonders Project” and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
Part of me wants to geek out about the incredible technology and camera system that made this feat possible. Google “Trekker” is a:
wearable backpack is outfitted with a camera system on top, and its portability enables us to gather images while maneuvering through tight, narrow spaces or locations only accessible by foot. The Trekker is operated by an Android device and consists of 15 lenses angled in a different direction so the images can be stitched together into 360-degree panoramic views. As the operator walks, photos are taken roughly every 2.5 seconds. (SOURCE: Google Maps Street View)
The “Trekker” looks like the “Death Star” rising out of a simple pack, except instead of sucking planes into it’s vortex, it captures the world in an instant. As a photographer/videographer I can’t help but marvel at that technology.
Part of me also wants to cover the “Death Star/Trekker” with a blanket. A “virtual” hike or “e-trek” is not the same as a real hike in the real world. In the real world you have to suffer a little bit for the spectacular views. You have to endure rainstorms, blisters, days without showers, and any number of unknown hurdles!
I hope that Google’s “e-treks” will inspire people to explore the West, to see it on their computer screen and then get up and go out into it.