Google brings Street View to the slopes with a snowmobile

Everybody knows about Google's Street View cars. They drive around cities and other areas, taking photographs as they go, in order to stitch the images together and provide the service that we know as, of course, Street View. Google, however, isn't just interested in letting users activate Street View on roads; the company, well known for its search engine of the same name, has now displayed its camera-equipped snow mobile to the world, for all to see.

As Google stated on its blog, everybody should get a chance to see the view from Whistler Mountain. It's truly a spectacular place to see, even if only in photos, and with the Winter Olympics happening in Vancouver very soon, there's no better time to show it off. The Street View team's snowmobile is capable of capturing images at 7,000 feet above sea level, in the trickiest of terrain, which makes it an extremely useful addition to their plethora of vehicles. 

Whilst it seems that Google might have just been able to take a regular snowmobile and whack a camera or two on it, there were a couple of obstacles to overcome before the vehicle was capable of capturing images on Whistler Mountain. As detailed in another post from Google, they had to be able to keep the hard drives running in the extremely cold temperatures, something which could prove very problematic for obvious reasons – aside from that, they used "some 2x4s, some duct tape," and put together the machine in the "typical scrappy Google fashion," over the period of a few weekends.

You can check out some Street View images from the snowmobile here, with the link courtesy of Engadget. As is Google's tradition, they've posted a video about the snowmobile, which we have handily embedded below.

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15 Comments

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Majority of the time photographs of locations do not do them justice. Thats just how it is, how can google improve that??

As someone who has not only been to Whistler, but lived there for a number of years, I have to say that despite Google's good intentions, the street-view photos really do not do the landscape justice.

To say the views from the mountain and ski runs are breathtaking would be an understatement.

There is something truly magical out there in the backcountry. Hopefully the 2010 Olympics will encourage more people to get out and experience Whistler.

madLyfe said,
would be awesome to have that job...

Really?... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35LqQPKylEA

But in all seriousness, I love what Google are doing, they're bringing us the world at the click of a button :D