Mojave, CA | Google Street view launched in 2007 and they use some cool equipment to get it done.
We have been on the road this past week between Sacramento and San Diego. Of course, Google Maps has been our navigation system all along the way. It has also been fun to drop in deeper on the mapping system into the “Street View” mode.
Coincidently, enroute back to Sacramento Monday morning, we happened upon one of the tools that helps make “Google Street View” happen. Google utilizes an array of vehicles to capture the data and images that brings Street View together. We came across this vehicle in Mojave, CA on Highway 14 coming from Palmdale.
At first glance, cruising down the road, off on the horizon you see something that just doesn’t look right about a vehicle. As you get closer you distinguish some sort of supported mast projecting a few feet above the roof-line of the car. When you finally catch up to it, you see a sphere atop the mast with holes in it. Within those holes you see cameras, that per Google Maps “provides users 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic street level views”.
Google Maps states, “Google collects these images using special cameras and equipment that capture and match images to a specific location using GPS devices. Once the images are captured, they are “sewn” together to create a 360° panorama. Faces and license plates are blurred before the panorama images are served and become viewable in Google Maps.” They are even using rigged up trikes to document biking trails.