Have you always wanted to share your favorite back-country trail with the world? Google may give you that opportunity.
The search giant wants to lend its Trekker Street View backpacks to third party organizations to expand the reach of its first-person mapping program to places that its cars can’t reach.
The company has previously sent out employees into the Grand Canyon with the same equipment, and partnered with an organization in Canada to map the Canadian Arctic. This is the first time that Google has opened up applications for the program to the general public.
The Trekker is essentially a Street View camera attached to a frame and some backpack straps that you wear much like a ludicrously tall backpacking pack.
A quick look at the Pacific Northwest shows a lot of wilderness uncovered by Street View, which presents a massive opportunity for enterprising hikers to make their mark on crowdsourced mapping. That being said, I do not envy the person who gets knocked over backwards by accidentally bumping into a tree limb with the camera.
According to its entry materials, the company is only looking to work with organizations at the moment, like tourism boards and academic research groups, but it does allow people to apply as individuals.
If you’re interested in applying for a Trekker, check out Google’s form here.
What do you think: should the wilderness remain outside the purview of Street View?
Previously on GeekWire: ‘TrailView’ 2.0? Google patents image-capturing walking stick
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.