Google to put Trike on streets to where no cars go

7 Sep 2010

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Google’s Street View is coming to Ireland to give panoramic street-level views. To make this happen, the search giant is putting a pedal-powered vehicle called the Trike on Irish streets which will allow super fit Googlers to go where cars don’t.

The Trike will be able to collect street-level imagery of some of Ireland’s top tourist destinations and historic monuments.

This 18-stone mechanical masterpiece comprises three bicycle wheels, a mounted Street View camera and a specially decorated box containing image collecting gadgetry. It comes replete with a very athletic cyclist in customised Google apparel.

The specially trained super fit Google employees and contractors who ride the Trikes wear Google cycle helmets and clothing.

The Trikes are designed to help Google make special imagery collections in places less accessible by cars.

Google Street View destinations

The Palace of Versailles, Pompeii, the Trevi Fountain, Stonehenge and the set of Coronation Street are some of the locations on Google Street View which were filmed by the Trike. Google even marked the Winter Olympics by fitting a snowmobile with its camera rig and sending it down the slopes of Whistler!

The new Aviva Stadium and Dublin Zoo will be among the first locations to be filmed by the Google Trike.

Other locations confirmed to be cycled by the Google Trike are The Botanical Gardens, Phoenix Park, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin Castle, the Garden of Remembrance, Rathfarnham Castle, The Iveagh Gardens, War Memorial Gardens and Fota Wildlife Park. Locations will be updated online.

As Google only collects images from public roads, it is working closely with the relevant organisations to collect images of privately-owned locations.

As with all Street View driving, faces and licence plates will be blurred if either are captured by the Trike as it visits these locations.

Street View’s online panoramic mapping service gives users a car’s-eye view of streets while allowing them to virtually explore a destination.

Google hopes to launch Street View in Ireland in future – Street View cars have already driven the highways and byways of Ireland collecting images, however no definitive launch date is available at present. 

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com