Google hires camel to record desert for Google Maps

8 Oct 2014

The camel Google hired to film the Arabian desert. Image via Google

In the vast emptiness of the desert, internet search giant Google has attached its Google Maps camera to a camel’s hump to record the routes nomads have taken for millennia.

However, thankfully, Google hasn’t decided to spend thousands of dollars filming empty desert for us to explore, but has chosen the Lima Oasis based 150km south-west of the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where many of its people can trace the origins of their ancestors.

The site is also important for the local economy as the main source of fruit for the region, in the form of dates, which the Bedouin people ate frequently.

The Lima Oasis, 150km south-west of Abu Dhabi. Image via Google

Google’s product marketing manager for the Middle East and North Africa, Najeeb Jarrar, wrote in a post on the official Google Maps blog that the team was able to attach the Trekker camera used by the company onto the camel’s hump with little issue. He also mentioned the animal was an important part of maintaining the environment’s integrity.

He further went on to explain: “We hope this collection gives you a glimpse of what it may be like to travel the desert as caravan merchants have for the past 3,000 years. Should you make the journey here in person, who knows — you may meet some new friends.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic