Street View takes Venice by foot

Unable to bring their camera-toting car to the Italian lagoon city, where gondolas and canals stand in for vehicles and roads, the internet firm sent physically fit technicians to walk Venice's alleys wearing a backpack-mounted camera.

Google has already added the Antarctic, the inside of the White House and the Great Barrier Reef (underwater) to Street View, which was launched in 2007, but a spokesperson said Venice was considered a feather in its cap.

"We have wanted to do it for a long time but didn't have the technology," said Gareth Evans.

Google previously used a tricycle-mounted camera to shoot inside parks and a trolley to get inside museums, but both methods were no good at scaling the steps over the bridges crossing Venice's canals.

In April two sturdy Google employees were each sent carrying a 1.2m tall, 18kg backpack and camera that resembles an insect's eye and sticks above the wearer's head. The cameras' 15-angle lenses take a picture every 2.5 seconds. The pictures can be merged into a 360° view.

The backpack device, known as the Trekker, has been used on Grand Canyon hiking paths in the United States, the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai and inside the Alhambra palace in southern Spain. The images from Venice should be online by the end of the year, said Evans.

Google is also planning to snap Venice from a boat as the vessel plies the city's canals, a service that has been dubbed "Google gondola".

Evans said the operators experienced few problems from curious onlookers crowding them as they tried to walk straight lines through Venice's piazzas. "People tended to ignore them," he said. "They just thought it was guy with a weird backpack." – © Guardian News & Media 2013

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.


To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Judge trashes entire lockdown regime as constitutionally flawed

The high court ruling will delight gatvol South Africans but is unlikely to stand the test of time

The backlogs, denials and future of testing Covid-19

The National Health Laboratory Services finally admitted to a bottleneck last week, after denying there were any issues since April. According to the service, the backlog of 80 000 tests started in the first week of May
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday