The Trekker backpack is Google’s mapping device that works with Street View, Google Maps and Google Earth. It photographs and produces interactive maps of locations on the planet automobiles cannot access, such as nature trails, places of wonder like Machu Picchu, and dense city centers. Because of its unique mobility, the Trekker is becoming a valuable tool for cartographers and it is currently used to document some of the greatest places on Earth for all to learn about and enjoy.
The backpack is an all-in-one system which includes a 360-degree camera array (that creates perfectly stitched images of its surroundings), two positioning LIDARS for mapping terrains, a computer featuring heat sink cooling, and two hot swap batteries. Our challenge was to configure all these elements into a portable solution that was waterproof, extremely durable, and worked flawlessly. Another objective was to make the Trekker backpack comfortable for extended wear time, so we ensured that our design was balanced, lightweight, and easy to take on and off.
The Google Trekker has created a sub-culture of travelers committed to revealing new frontiers and sharing their experiences with the global community. “From hiking Yosemite to floating the canals of Venice to exploring the ancient city of Petra, people and organizations all over the world have used Trekker to document the places they’re passionate about,” states Danny Cheung, Technical Program Manager, Google Street View.