Google is trying hard to build out its Street View-style imagery of locales off the beaten path with its Trekker program. The Trekker, a roughly 40-pound backpack that has a camera-ridden sphere poking out over its wearer’s head, captures 360-degree fields of view which are then used to build interactive, first-person views of remote places like the Grand Canyon. Google is now looking for applicants to help it continue to expand its Trekker efforts.
The application is open to non-profits, tourism boards, government agencies, academic or research organizations or other groups interested in helping the search giant document the world. The applications will be reviewed over the next few months, and agencies selected will become part of Google’s pilot program, which is open to organizations around the world.
I got the chance to wear one of the Trekker packs at Google I/O this year, and to discuss the program with the tech’s co-creator, Steve Silverman. At the time, Silverman said that Google would be building out its Trekker program in the coming months, and it’s looking at outside partners to help with that, including the inaugural partner for this expansion, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. It makes sense that Google would turn to the people who know the terrain best to help them chart and capture Trekker Street View scenery, rather than trying to do it all themselves.
If they’re looking for anyone to help negotiate the wilds of Toronto’s dense urban jungle, sign me up, but this is more likely a job for those occupying greener spaces.