Hikers Chart Google-apagos

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One of Google’s hikers with Street View camera following tortoise. photo:Google

If you can’t get to Galapagos in person, you’ll soon be able to visit virtually, thanks to Google’s “Street View.”  The search company recently sent teams of hikers, equipped with backpack-mounted cameras, to prowl over the uninhabited islands of the Galapagos, taking thousands of pictures that will be stitched together electronically.  Computer users, accessing the images, will be able to view the islands from the hikers’ perspectives.  With a finger swipe or the click of a mouse, it will be possible to move the images from place to place.

Google said the hikers who took part in the project were wearing 42-pound backpacks, each equipped with 15 cameras mounted in a sphere that resembles a soccer ball.  That enabled them to capture panoramic images of some of the archipelago’s most inaccessable areas.

Working with the Galapagos National Park, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Catlin Underwater Survey, the Google cameras also captured images below the water’s surface in the ocean around the Galapagos islands.

The Tech Crunch blog has more on the story.