Google Goes Where Street Views Has Never Gone Before

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Street View Trekker

One of my first encounters with the power of digital signage came in Las Vegas.

No, it wasn't the fancy casinos with 30 foot tall LED displays or the outdoor signs promising 99% payouts. Sure, those are impressive displays and make Las Vegas a capital city of digital signage (even without the annual Digital Signage Expo).

It was in a diner.

But it wasn't just any diner. It's more like one of the best diners to experience the authentic Americana of such establishments.

The Peppermill is on the Strip, at the top of Convention Center Drive. And because I am always in Vegas at convention time, the diner usually has a line of waiting customers for breakfast.

I had been visiting the Peppermill for years and the waiting line was always a frustration. Then (years ago now) they put in giant hi-res display screens and showed amazing travel videos. Long before you had Retina screens on your MacBook, these large displays were the shock-and-awe of displays. You practically fell into the content, into hi res videos taken while flying over amazing landscapes.

You saw powerful, large moving images that caught not only your attention but your emotions as well. It transformed the boring and frustrating wait in line for your breakfast into an I-lost-track-of-the-time moment. How hard is that to pull off.

And that leads me to the latest newest technology at Google Street Views: the Street View Trekker.

The Trekker enables Street View to feature more places around the world-- places no car, trike, trolley or snowmobile can access. This wearable backpack is outfitted with a camera system on top, and its portability enables the wearer to gather images while maneuvering through tight, narrow spaces or locations only accessible by foot.

The first collection using this camera technology was taken along the rough, rocky terrain of Arizona's Grand Canyon. And you can see the results in the link below.

These striking images, from places you can only walk, might be just the content you need for certain digital signage moments: like waiting in line somewhere.

But more than that: you can be the next Trekker, helping to capture panoramic images from all types of locations using Google’s Street View Trekker.

Their loan program enables third parties to borrow Trekker equipment and take it to amazing places around the world that they know, love and want to share via Google Maps.

But you (or your client) need to represent an organization such as a tourism board, non-profit, government agency, university or research group that would like to take photos with the Trekker for future inclusion on Google Maps.

This program is currently available for a limited set of countries (much of Europe is included) but they are working to expand eligibility to additional countries in the future.

Go Take a Look at Street Views Trekker Results

Go The Google Street View Trekker Loaner Program