clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Google invites you to borrow its Trekker Street View backpacks and photograph the world

New, 104 comments

If you like hiking and photographing exciting places around the globe, Google has a proposition for you: You can now sign-up to borrow one of the company's Trekkers, special camera-equipped backpacks that act as a personalized version of Google's Street View cars, allowing the wearer to automatically capture a 360-degree view of their surrounds as they move. Google previously only let select employees and a few third-party organizations take the Trekkers out to scenic places including the Grand Canyon and the Canadian Arctic, but now the company is giving any third-party organization the chance to apply online for loaner Trekker backpacks. The footage that winning applicants capture could be added to Google's growing library of Street View scenes around the world, though its unclear for now just how much, if any, other monetary compensation Google will provide to volunteers.

But Google isn't about to hand out its Trekker backpacks to just any trail hound. The company describes some specific qualifications in its on online application for the Trekker program: "If you represent an organization such as a tourism board, non-profit, government agency, university or research group that would like to take photos with the Trekker for future inclusion on Google Maps, please fill out this form." Still, Google clearly wants to get people excited to snap new Street View panoramas of their surrounds that the company can then use, as evidenced by the following upbeat video ad promoting the new Trekker loaner program.