Google Street View treks into the Grand Canyon

Google announced Wednesday that the Grand Canyon would soon be coming to Google Maps Street View courtesy of Trekker, the search giant's new backpack Street View camera. The company is gathering images from the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park, but did not say exactly when the images would go online. This is the first major task for Trekker after Google introduced the new Street View camera in June.

Designed to go where Google's Street View cars, trikes, and snowmobiles can't, Trekker is a backpack with a 360-degree camera attached to an arm that rises above its wearer's head. The device weighs about 40 pounds and can take photographs as a person walks around their environment. The wearer can also control the camera through an Android phone.

Google says the Grand Canyon is an ideal place to use Trekker because of the area's “ narrow ridges and steep, exposed trails.” Notable Grand Canyon spots headed for Google Maps in the coming months include the Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, and the canyon's ridge.

Google continues to add hard-to-reach locations around the world in the company's quest to digitize the planet. Some of the more interesting locales available in Google Maps includeAntarctica, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Great Barrier Reef. In August, Google said that it was also working with the community of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut in Canada's Far North to bring one of the most isolated locations on the planet to Street View.

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