Google Corporation’s Worldwide Headquarters is located in Mt. View, CA near the center of Silicon Valley. They are certainly a fascinating company with their tiny fingers stuck in many pies. Most notable: search engines, email, operating system . . . and maps. We are all familiar with their street maps with actual street views of places you want to go to. Good way to see if a business you plan to visit has a real store front or is next to a dump. They even provide town residents with free wifi, broadcast throughout the city.
It turns out Mt. View is only 4 hours from Yosemite. There is a project at Google to do to mountain trails what they did to highways and byways. They are having fit employees hike with a huge contraption on their back with 360 degree cameras to take still pix every nano-second for archiving.
They then thread them together to give users a pseudo 3D virtual walk through of the trail. See a short Google made video.
OK, it’s in its infancy, but for a company that plans to scan every book ever written and record every square inch of the planet, it’s only a matter of time until Yosemite hikes such as Half Dome are recorded. I’ve carried my Sony PC-100 camcorder up and it was a pain, so I pity the crew that has to lug the Google 40-pound backpack up at minimum wage.
True there are a few entrepreneurs who have already hiked the trail with a camera, so you can buy a DVD and sit back, drink a Miller Light and see the whole hike. Fine. But the Google product will allow what “street view” does. You will be able to rotate the view and look left and right at any point. Up or Down. Under a rock? Get your feet wet in a stream?
Before long, humans will never have to leave the comfort of their recliner, beer in hand and veg out while going “hiking.” Ah, pass me another brew. Or not.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – John Muir
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com