Google has crept on all of us over the course of developing Google Maps into the ubiquitous product that it has become, and now the company is enabling us to start creeping on each other as well.* Today Google has kicked off a pilot program opening up use of the Street View Trekker to third parties. If you're a member of a tourist board, non-profit, university, research organization, or something otherwise interesting, you can apply to borrow the Trekker and help capture images of the hard-to-reach places Google has yet to access.


Never heard of the Street View Trekker? It's a rather versatile tool that enables Google to capture 360-degree photos of places that aren't exactly pedestrian friendly. The peculiarly-shaped camera system can be found extending from backpacks, cars, bikes, and snowmobiles. Some of these were on display at this year's Google I/O.


Trekker2 Trekker3

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is Google's first partner to borrow the Trekker. A Google team flew to the state and trained HVCB workers to capture views of trails through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Onomea Bay, Akaka Falls, and other locations that will make their way into Google Maps.

Trekker4 Trekker5 Trekker7


Google introduced a revamped Google Maps web interface at Google I/O that is more visual and immersive. The software is nice, but a ton of images are required to make it all come together. This new pilot program is a good move to get more and better material onto the site, so spread the word.

Source: Google Maps

*Actual creepers need not apply.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Gloria Tortorella

    That looks heavy... and cooooool.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Very cool of them to do this - it's both fun for us and smart for them to outsource.

  • fredric

    I'd REALLY love to help them make StreetView available where I am.... But where I am is not even interesting enough :'(

  • Ra Ronin

    South Park, Family Guy or American Dad episode in: 3, 2, 1... :)

  • Scott Standish-Parkin

    So..I'm going to yellowstone national park and work for the DOE....does this mean I can help? :)

  • Bartley Darraugh

    There needs to be a team put together to do the Pacific Crest Trail.

  • Eliot Lopez

    Me interesa hacer eso, acá en el caribe no hay streetview disponible. Me gustaría ser un trekker caminante para enseñarle al mundo las maravillas naturales de Puerto Rico :-)

  • phoddo

    im going to submit for this, and if i get one, im going to hike the entire appalachian trail with it on my back... your welcome world!