Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Google Goes to Antarctica
February 13th, 2014 by Susan Smith
For those Antarctic enthusiasts, Google has been exploring Antarctica with its special Street View backpack carrying a special Trekker camera. It persuaded researchers at the Polar Geospatial Center to carry the trekker, a 42 pound backpack with 15 lenses. Starting with easy to obtain images using , Google has now added a range of hard to reach places.
The first batch of Antarctic Street View imagery that had been shot by PGC included 3D explorable panoramas of Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott’s huts, preserved by the cold. The dwellings of the two most famous Antarctic explorers give some indication of just what types of conditions those men suffered while in Antarctica without the benefit of The North Face and Marmot high tech gear that we have for today’s intrepid explorers. These panoramas were created using a lightweight tripod camera with a fisheye lens.
The Trekker is operated by a smart phone and consists of 15 lenses angled in a different direction so the images can be stitched together into 360-degree panoramic views. It has previously been used to capture the Grand Canyon, the River Thames and hundreds of other areas around the world where Google’s cars and trikes can’t reach. Cole Kelleher, a cartographer and support coordinator with PGC, headquartered in Minneapolis, shot most of the footage using Google’s Trekker. Photos are taking approximately every 2 1/2 seconds while the walker is moving. Kelleher said it is very top heavy so he had to work very hard not to fall down and damage it in the rough terrain.