Google launches Street View trip of Grand Canyon

2014-03-14 09:29
(Joe Klamar, AFP)

(Joe Klamar, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Flagstaff - Google has taken its all-seeing eyes on a trip that few experience: The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

The search giant partnered with the advocacy group American Rivers to showcase views of nearly 500km of white water rapids, towering red canyon walls, and rich geologic history.

The 360° views that went live on Thursday in Google's Street View map option once were reserved largely for rafters who were lucky enough to board a private trip through the remote canyon, or those willing to pay big bucks to navigate its rapids.

Google project lead Karin Tuxen-Bettman hopes the images educate the public about the US waterway that American Rivers listed as the most endangered in 2013 due to drought and overuse.

"We hope this inspires viewers to take an active interest in preserving it," she said.

Federal officials and environmentalists have been raising alarms recently about demand outstripping supply on the river serving some 40 million people in seven Western states.

Ominous signs

The imagery Google captured from Lees Ferry south of Page to Pearce Ferry shows signs of drought in a bathtub ring around Lake Mead, and the impacts of damming the river.

"It's just a valuable snapshot in time of what the river is like right now," said Amy Kober of American Rivers.

Google used two rosettes of cameras mounted on two rafts to capture the imagery in August and then stitched it together. The crew of nearly 20 people, including guides, spent eight mostly sunny days on the river, but got drenched by rain two of those days.

The company said the river views are the first it has published on Street View from the US. In 2011, Google mounted its Street View trike on a boat and went up the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon, Tuxen-Bettman said.

The company also has used push carts and snowmobiles to map places where vehicles cannot travel. In late 2012, Google mapped the most popular hiking trails at the Grand Canyon using cameras mounted for the first time on a backpack. Those panoramic views were released in early 2013.

For rafters on the Colorado River, trips can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to $3 000 a person, depending on the length and whether they are private or commercial trips.

Grand Canyon National Park limits the number of people who can go on self-guided trips through a highly competitive lottery system and has an annual cap on the number of commercial, motorised trips.

One of the first things virtual visitors might notice is the remoteness of the canyon where rafters spend a few days or nearly a month navigating rapids, hiking side canyons, snapping photos of waterfalls and endangered species, and savouring the solitude.

It's a place where cellphones don't work and rafters pack only what they need.
- AP
Read more on:    google  |  internet  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.