Say Hello To Google’s Latest Employee: Raffia The Camel
When it comes to Google, you can’t help getting awe-struck at their innovation and out-of-the-blue ideas. And the innovation doesn’t end at one product either. Having its hands full with Nexus 6 coming out this month, Project Loon, and what not, Google’s employees working on its Street View are not going to back off from capturing the world.
After managing to capture a considerate amount of the world by attaching cameras to cars, humans’ backs and boats, Google has moved onto mounting its cameras to the back of a camel – Raffia – to get hold of the beautiful desert that stretches around Liwa Oasis in UAE.
In a blog post this Friday, Google announced users will be able to tour the Liwa Desert as if “sitting atop a camel looking across a vast expanse of desert dunes.”
According to Google, the reason for using a camel was collecting authentic imagery and minimizing the disruption of the “fragile” environment.
The process started as early as 6 a.m., because of the cooler and clear weather along with least intrusion of people – or camels. By capturing the gorgeous sand dunes, that lure you towards them, along with the swaying palm trees and oases, Google hopes the Street View might help in boosting the tourism industry there. However, if you can’t stand the heat, you can virtually travel through the calm dunes in the Street View now.
Some of the richest history in this desert lies in the Liwa Oasis—the largest oasis in the Arabian peninsula. Many people across the UAE can trace their origins to the first tribes that settled there and established the region as a trade center. The oasis is also home to date farms, whose trees and fruit are important cultural symbols—the trunks of the palms were used to weave the walls of Bedouin tents, baskets and more, while the fruit was a treasured treat for the locals. Now, the oasis is a sought out location for tourists around the world and those who live in the area. – Najeeb Jarrar, Google
Street View was launched in 2007, and though it has been immensely popular, it has been the hub of controversies like invading privacy and so on. However, the success of this project can be measured by the fact that over 59 countries have already been covered, meaning you can travel more than 5 million miles through your laptops.
Google usually uses a camera attached to the car, but for this project, it used Trekker – a camera which can be mounted to a backpack. It then takes 360 degree pictures of the surroundings and stitches them together to create a panorama, which we navigate with just a few movements of our hands and mouse.
Liwa Oasis is the third Street View in UAE, and Google hopes to “ideally capture all of the UAE.”
“We want obviously all countries, because there is so much history and culture and heritage,” – Joyce Baz, spokesperson, Google