By Nathan Lee
Google has revolutionised the notion of map making (cartography). Using intricate technologies we can now access directions, interactive maps and aerial imagery from across the world at the touch of a button, a technology that many of us have come to rely on as part of our day-to-day lives.
Born from this, almost as a by-product, is a gallery of the world in which we can explore landmarks, discover natural wonders and step inside locations such as museums, arenas, restaurants and small businesses with 360-degree images provided by Street View. Google has captured some 20 petabytes of data for Street View, comprising photos taken along five million miles of roads, covering 39 countries and about 3,000 cities.
Many of us have become accustomed to seeing the Street View car passing through our streets, a familiarity that has led to some quite comical pictures. But as Google attempts to bring the world to our desktops in ways we’ve never experienced before the processes have changed.
Laurian Clemence of Google said, “We use a variety of ways to capture some of the world’s most significant and beautiful landmarks, most recently with the ‘Trekker,’ which is a backpack with our 360 degree camera attached to it. We have taken the Trekker to the Grand Canyon, through the narrow alleyways of Venice and into the Amazon forest. With Google Street View anyone can experience the wonders of the world, right from the comfort of their homes.”
To celebrate this feat of technology we’re launching a contest to gather the best Street View pictures Google has to offer. Using hashtag #dropthepin simply screen grab the best pictures you’ve found from the web and upload on Twitter. The winners will receive a special photo album of all winning entries. To get your creative juices flowing, here’s a few that we found.
All images are copyright of Google Street View.