Google announced today that it is debuting the Trekker for the first time in Canada, as it lends the devices out to some locals.
Earlier this year, Google launched the first Trekker-based imagery for the Grand Canyon. Trekker is a backpack-based camera device, which takes panoramic imagery for Street View. You can see it in the photos below.
"Two Trekkers will be worn by local mapping experts from Nunavut and members of the Google Maps team, and they'll be used to collect panoramic Street View imagery of Canada’s most northern capital," a Google spokesperson tells WebProNews. "This is Google’s first visit to an arctic climate in the winter... so don’t be surprised when the Street View team takes a detour to a nearby igloo!"
"As usual, the imagery will take some time to prepare for publication on Google Maps," she notes.
Chris Kalluk, one of those local mapping experts, wrote about the experience in a post on the Google Maps blog. "I’m wearing the backpack to collect Street View imagery as I walk to the shore of Frobisher Bay, where the wind is the strongest and you can see the tide piling up mountains of sea ice," he writes. "On the way I’ll pass sled dogs tied up outside houses, yapping in anticipation of their next trip. And I may stop to check out an igloo, built by Inuit craftsmen using methods passed down over a millennia."
"As part of its commitment to build a comprehensive and accurate map of Canada’s north, Google visited my home, Cambridge Bay, last August and published imagery of the trip that fall," he adds. "But this visit to Iqaluit marks the first time the Google Maps team has ventured into an Arctic climate during the winter months, where average temperatures can dip below -30°C [-25°F]."
Here are pictures of Kalluk (top) and Google Maps product lead Raleigh Seamster (bottom) in the streets of Iqalit with Trekker:
"At the end of the day, when it’s time to warm up, our community will gather around two dozen computers at the local library to conduct a MapUp workshop," says Kalluk. "I’ll work with Iqaluit’s elders, local business owners, political leaders and high school students to show them how we can use Google Map Maker to add the streets, shops and points of interest - those places that make Iqaluit home - to Google Maps."
The Street View imagery from this endeavor will become available on Google Maps in a few months.
Earlier this week, Google launched some new mountain top Street View imagery.