using Trekker, Google’s edge in the next mapping war

Christopher Fiock came to a rest. For more than four hours he and a team had mapped the Presidio of San Francisco, the former army post that is now a national park. With every step they took, the team captured panoramas that would soon let the world explore the Presidio without leaving their computers.

At a vista overlooking the South Bay, Fiock demonstrated the device that had made it all possible: the Trekker, the powerful if awkward device that recently concluded its first year as one of the technological engines of Google’s six-year-old Street View program. “The Trekker is a mobile image-capture platform,” Fiock says. “We took some of the same technology from the Street View cam and made it portable — ultra portable.”

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