When Google Maps went offshore in order to put some Street View action on the Amazon River earlier this year, it signaled that Google was moving beyond the task collecting ground-level imagery of mere streets (despite the product's name). At the Next Dimension conference earlier this month, Google Maps dignitaries showcased some of the advents they've been making with the trike they use to capture the Street View imagery. For example, Street View Engineering Director Luc Vincent revealed that they've fit the trike to be toted around via backpack or bicycle in order to chart places that the Street View car might not be able to access, leaving the audience with the impression that Google has plans to go where no mapping service had gone before.
One of the next projects on deck for Google Street View will be to map out some of the canal towpaths in the United Kingdom. According to V3.co.uk, Google Maps plans on rowing down some 2,000 miles of the U.K.'s canal systems to capture imagery that it hopes will promote local and tourist interest in visiting the towpaths.
Google Maps will be collaborating with the Canal & River Trust to map out the canal towpaths in hopes of promoting people to choose the canals as a method of travel. Ed Parsons, a geospatial technologist with Google UK, said, "Canal towpaths offer green routes through our towns and cities and by working with the Canal & River Trust we're adding towpaths to Google Maps and encouraging people to discover their local waterway."
Apple might be able to keep up with Google in terms of flashy 3D images of overhead views, but this is just a reminders that Google Maps offers so many more services that will not only keep them relevant but likely retain their users' loyalty.[Via Search Engine Watch.]