Mountain View, California, USA
From climbing 3,000 feet up El Capitan in Yosemite to floating the canals of Venice to exploring the ancient city of Petra, people and organizations all over the world have used the Street View Trekker to document the places they’re passionate about.
By strapping on a panoramic camera backpack, trekkers can travel on foot to bring the immersion of Google Street View to some exotic off-road (and underwater) locations.
Whipsaw’s Google Trekker backpack won a 2020 Good Design Award from The Chicago Athenaeum.
Here’s how it works. The Trekker backpack is Google’s mapping device that works with Street View, Google Maps and Google Earth.
It photographs and produces interactive maps of locations on the planet automobiles cannot access, such as nature trails, places of wonder like Machu Picchu, and dense city centers.
Because of its unique mobility, the Trekker is becoming a valuable tool for cartographers and it is currently used to document some of the greatest places on Earth for all to learn about and enjoy.
The backpack is an all-in-one system that includes a 360-degree camera array (that creates perfectly stitched images of its surroundings), two positioning LIDARS for mapping terrains, a computer featuring heat sink cooling, and two hot-swap batteries.
Whipsaw’s design challenge was to reconfigure all these elements into a portable solution that was waterproof, extremely durable, and worked flawlessly.
Another objective was to make the Trekker backpack comfortable for extended wear time, ensuring that the design was balanced, lightweight, and easy to take on and off.
The Google Trekker has created a sub-culture of travelers committed to revealing new frontiers and sharing their experiences with the global community.
The footage that trekkers capture can be added to Google’s growing library of Street View scenes around the world.
Google has published these adventures in 360-degree view on Google Maps for anyone in the world—no matter where you are—to enjoy.
“From hiking Yosemite to floating the canals of Venice to exploring the ancient city of Petra, people and organizations all over the world have used Trekker to document the places they’re passionate about,” states Danny Cheung, Technical Program Manager, Google Street View.
Designers: Whipsaw, Inc.
Manufacturer: Google LLC.