Google Maps (and street view in particular) has inspired films, birdhouses (!), and a slew of inspiring slash infuriating games for the geographically inclined. But it’s somewhat limited in that cameras are usually mounted on cars (although that alone has yielded plenty of inappropriate candids).
Now Google wants you to help make street view even more eye-popping by strapping on a backpack-based 360-degree camera, called the Trekker, the next time you go globetrotting. Some of the world’s most amazing sites aren’t exactly car-friendly, so the result could be some gorgeous photos. But it’s not gonna PAY you or anything, and you can’t just volunteer; you have to apply. The dubious honor was formerly assigned to actual Google employees, notes The Verge:
Google previously only let select employees and a few third-party organizations take the Trekkers out to scenic places including the Grand Canyon and the Canadian Arctic, but now the company is giving any third-party organization the chance to apply online for loaner Trekker backpacks.
Uh … cool? As commenter DTMD wrote on The Verge, “You mean to tell me I can lug around heavy equipment and collect valuable data for Google for free? Sign me up!”
See if Google’s spiel (set to toe-wiggling music) convinces you:
Google invites you to borrow its Trekker Street View backpacks and photograph the world, The Verge.
Google Invites Third Parties to Contribute Imagery to Street View with Trekker Backpack Camera System, Laughing Squid.