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New Google Creation Allows Viewers To Virtually Tour Natural Wonders

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A new Google creation called the Google Trekker may soon be the key to traveling to some of the world's most hard-to-get places all from inside your home. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

A hiker took the Google Trekker, complete with its 15 cameras, down to the Grand Canyon in order to capture images for a street view-type tour so that anyone from just about anywhere could take a virtual stroll through one of the world's greatest natural wonders.

"The trekker weighs about 40 pounds or so," said Daniel Sieberg of Google. "It's about two feet clearance off my head here, but it takes pictures about every 2 1/2 seconds or so. As you're going through a trail or something, you could actually just hike at a normal pace, and it's taking pictures and accounting for all of those things like balance and slope and all of those types of things, and then connecting that and collaborating all of that later."

Google mapped about 75 of the 277 miles of the Grand Canyon, some of the more well-known trails. The team says it does plan to someday head back and capture even more.

As wild as it may seem, there are actually more than half dozen of these street view-type contraptions for capturing images.

"In addition to the car, the trike, the snowmobile, the trolley, which goes through museums, we also have the ability to capture similar types of imagery underwater, and we've actually done that in places like the Great Barrier Reef," Sieberg says.

To check out the world's wonders those devices have caught so far, head over to www.google.com/streetview.

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