Google Street View started in 1997 with just a van snapping photos of five cities.
Now, Google has attached its Street View cameras to snowmobiles, pedicabs, bikes, trolleys, and even a backpack apparatus called the Trekker. In Google’s quest to map out the world through photos, it’s captured unbelievable scenes — including these 15 incredible photos of animals that Google’s photographers came across in their travels.
“Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive and accurate and useful map possible,” Deanna Yick, Google Maps’ Street View Program Manager, told Tech Insider, “so that Google Maps is a mirror of the real world.”
Google Street View photographers have to be 'very fit individuals,' Yick said, because they will be on their feet for long stretches of time, often while wearing Trekker backpacks that weigh about 40 pounds.
Google Street View is mainly used for navigation, but Yick hopes people will use it 'as a place for exploration' as well, she said.
'People are comfortable using it as a day-to-day tool for navigation, but it's so much more than that,' Yick said. 'The fact that I can use Google Maps and hop into the Pyramids of Egypt without a plane or a new language -- it's really exciting.'
'There's a number of places my mum will never go,' Yick said. 'I went to the Galapagos and she said, 'I'd love to go, but there's no way I could walk those rocky trails with my health and at my age.' This is an avenue for people to explore from the comfort of their own homes.'
'We mounted (a camera) to a boat on the Amazon and took it down the Rio Negro river,' Yick explained. 'This cute little frog jumped on the cameras and you can see it in the imagery.'
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