For over four years now, Google has been driving around the world’s roads to bring you 360-degree street-level imagery. The project is called street view and covers most US roads and top destinations overseas but, until this week, street view has only covered, well… streets. Today the official Google blog announces an ambitious plan to photograph, in 360-degree splendor, the world’s waterways starting with the Amazon river. They tell us:
A few members of our Brazil and U.S. Street View and Google Earth Outreach teams are currently in the Amazon rainforest using our Street View technology to capture images of the river, surrounding forests and adjacent river communities. In partnership with the Foundation for a Sustainable Amazon (FAS), the local non-profit conservation organization that invited us to the area, we’re training some of FAS’s representatives on the imagery collection process and leaving some of our equipment behind for them to continue the work. By teaching locals how to operate these tools, they can continue sharing their points of view, culture and ways of life with audiences across the globe.
We’ll pedal the Street View trike along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and maneuver it up close to where civilization meets the rainforest. We’ll also mount it onto a boat to take photographs as the boat floats down the river. Continue Reading… (with photographs HERE)
No word on how long the project will take to complete (years maybe?) but gCaptain hopes the Google Maps team’s next project is on waterways closer to home and we look forward to the day when all the world’s rivers are panoramically photographed and accessible, not only via Google Maps, but also integrated into our ECDIS chart display systems.