Google unveils new Street View backpack camera rig

At its "Next Dimension" Google Maps event held in San Francisco, the company showed off a backpack rig for mapping places that are inaccessible to vehicles, as well as revealing a few interesting nuggets of information.

Google Street View backpack camera

(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)

These include the fact that 1 billion users access Google Earth each month. Also Google cars have driven over 8 million kilometres, all unique, covering 39 countries and about 3000 cities.

Street View has captured 20 petabytes of data, the company said, from cameras mounted on cars, boats, snowmobiles and even people. For mapping outdoor space, such as national parks and places that vehicles can't access, Google showed off a prototype back-mounted camera rig, which weighs about 15kg (check out the video below).

The camera has 15, 5-megapixel lenses, while the battery for the rig lasts all day, Google engineering director Luc Vincent said. "If you hike with a partner, they'll be in every scene," he quipped.

Other announcements from Google included the enabling of offline maps and the unveiling of a full 3D mode for Google Earth.


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