Having driven literally hundreds of thousands of miles of surface streets and roads throughout the world, Google is increasingly going off road in its quest to make Street View comprehensive. Most recently the company took its on-foot Street View backpack cameras to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Google is hiking the various trails that descend into the Canyon and onto the floor of the great national park. According to the company’s Lat-Long Blog:
This week, photos are being gathered from portions of the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park, including the ridge, the famous Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, and more. These panoramic views will soon be live on Google Maps, giving everyone from real-life visitors to armchair travelers the opportunity to marvel at this beautiful, majestic site from the comfort of their computers or mobile devices.
Currently there are lots of still photographs (via Panoramio) of the Canyon available on Google Maps. Most of those are views of the Canyon taken from the rim. The “descent into the Canyon” imagery, combined with the interactivity Street View enables, should be pretty interesting when it becomes available. No ETA on that yet.
Below is a short video that shows the “rig” that Street View trekkers are wearing.