Coming to Google Street View: Galapagos Islands
Google captures panoramic views of remote and inaccessible areas
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2013 11:33 AM CDT
A giant tortoise crawls along the path near Googler Karin Tuxen Bettman while she collects imagery with the Street View Trekker in Galapaguera.   ((AP Photo/Google))

(Newser) – If you've ever wished you could visit the Galapagos Islands, you'll soon get the chance to see the remote volcanic islands from the comfort of your own home. Google sent hikers to the area complete with Street View gear to capture panoramic views of even the most inaccessible places—like down the crater of an active volcano—and underwater. "We spent 10 days there hiking over trails," says Raleigh Seamster, the project's leader for Google Maps. "And these are islands, so half of the life there is under the water surface."

The team used Street View gear to swim with sea lions and sharks, and to capture the island's famed giant tortoises, along with other species. Scientists are interested in the footage, too, working with Google with the hope of updating the pictures regularly throughout the years as they study the effects of invasive species, tourism, and climate change on the island's ecosystems. "This whole project was part of Google's ongoing effort to build the most comprehensive and accurate map of the world," Seamster says. The company, which undertook a similar project at the Great Barrier Reef, hopes to have the footage up for viewing later this year.

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May 26, 2013 3:35 AM CDT
now i hear it's a regular attraction..., too bad. when i was a kid the i'd read about earlier biologists and paleontologists using live boars to capture Dragon Lizards. Now, ya got people walkin' around with balloons 'n ice cream cones, along with their outa-control brats, litterin' the place up and tossin burgers to the animal life. 'Oh! get a picture of Johnny ridin' the tortoise!"
May 24, 2013 4:11 PM CDT
So now we can watch the tortoises cross the street. I'll be waiting for that for sure.
May 24, 2013 1:38 PM CDT
I like this, since I probably will never get there in person. Interestingly saw an updated google street view of my house recently. It was the third time I was personally in one of these pictures. Not sure why the car came by for a 2nd pass, the first being before I lived here .