Posted: 24 Oct 2012 03:00 AM PDT
In our ongoing effort to create the perfect map—one that's as comprehensive, accurate and easy to use as possible—we've gone well beyond just the streets. Through the Street View feature on Google Maps, you've been able to explore panoramic views of amazing places around the world ranging from the Swiss Alps to the Amazon to Antarctica, and a variety of urban cities, university campuses, ancient ruins and ski resorts as well.
Today, demonstrating the rocky and rugged paths we'll travel to make Google Maps even more complete, we're collecting imagery from a place no car, trike or snowmobile has ever been before. On its first official outing, the Street View team is using the Trekker—a wearable backpack with a camera system on top—to traverse the Grand Canyon and capture 360-degree images of one of the most breathtaking natural landscapes on the planet.
Operations Manager Steve Silverman (left) and Product Manager Ryan Falor (right) hiking the Bright Angel Trail on the South Rim with Trekkers
The narrow ridges and steep, exposed trails of the Grand Canyon provide the perfect terrain for our newest camera system. The Trekker—which its operator controls via an Android phone and automatically gathers photos as he walks—enables the collection of high-quality imagery from places that are only accessible on foot.
Falor controlling the the Trekker with his Android device
This week, photos are being gathered from portions of the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park, including the ridge, the famous Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail and more. These panoramic views will soon be live on Google Maps, giving everyone from real-life visitors to armchair travelers the opportunity to marvel at this beautiful, majestic site from the comfort of their computers or mobile devices.
The team hiking the Bright Angel Trail
So get ready for the virtual adventure that awaits! And in the meantime, we'll keep on trekken' and working hard to bring you panoramic imagery of more visually stunning places we have yet to explore and share on Google Maps.
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 12:01 AM PDT
Tomorrow marks the start of the observance of Eid El Adha, celebrated by the world's 1.5 billion Muslims. As part of this holiday, nearly 2.5 million Muslims will participate in the world's largest pilgrimage to perform the ritual of Hajj. This year, millions more from around the world will be able to experience the ritual via the live stream from Mecca, Saudi Arabia on the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information's YouTube channel.
The Hajj represents one of the five pillars of Islam; it requires all Muslims around the world who are able-bodied and can afford it to perform the pilgrimage once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.
This live stream was made possible by our cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information, which also broadcast Islamic prayers live from the Grand Mosque in Mecca during this year's Ramadan.
Watch on www.youtube.com/makkahlive.
Posted by Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Head of Emerging Arabia, Google
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