Web

Forget cars and trikes, Google’s now using ziplines for Street View

It all started eight years ago with a camera perched on top of a car. Since those simple days, Street View cameras have found their way onto trikes, trolleys, boats, backpacks, snowmobiles, camels, and, for the first time for new panoramic photos of the Amazon rainforest, a zipline.

Evidently keen to take Street View fans on a journey from the famous rainforest’s upper canopy all the way down to the ground (or the other way around), the team behind the panoramic-imagery site set about strapping their pricey camera kit to some wires before sending it – sans screaming Googler – hurtling toward the forest floor.

“Home to millions of plant, animal and insect species, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world,” Google Earth’s Karin Tuxen-Bettman wrote in a post introducing the new content. “Undiscovered species thrive in the canopies of the primary forests, atop trees that have stood for centuries.”

Once you’re done ziplining, how about extricating yourself from the thick vegetation and hopping onto a Street View boat for a gentle ride along the calm waters of the nearby Aripuanã River. You can even drop by any of the more than 15 communities that live along the waterway.

Google used its spherical Trekker camera for the zipline stunt. The device, which weighs a hefty 40lb (18kg), captures its surroundings by taking shots every 2.5 seconds with its 15 lenses.

According to the BBC, the Web giant’s zipline camera reached speeds of up to 62 mph (100 km/h) as it flew through the foliage. However, for anyone checking out the photos via Street View, the journey will only be as fast as your browser refreshes, making for an altogether more leisurely experience, though at least you’ll get a proper view of the jungle as you go.

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