Street View Trekker; Google Map Maker in South Africa and Egypt Launches; HALO Trust uses Google Earth for Landmine Removal

At the Google Maps June 6 event, Google introduced "Street View Trekker," that join the exisiting fleet of Street View that include: Street View cars, trikes, snowmobiles and trolleys. Street View Trekker aims to enable taking photograph of the places such as the Grand Canyon so anyone can explore them. In short, places which are […]

Google Map Maker Lands in Sourt Africa and Egypt

At the Google Maps June 6 event, Google introduced "Street View Trekker," that join the exisiting fleet of Street View that include: Street View cars, trikes, snowmobiles and trolleys.

Street View Trekker aims to enable taking photograph of the places such as the Grand Canyon so anyone can explore them. In short, places which are only accessible by foot are now reachable through "Trekker," with all the required equipment fits in the one backpack.

Also, Google announcing today the expansion of "Map Maker" to South Africa and Egypt, and to 10 more countries would be adding in the next few weeks include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

For those new, "Google Map Maker let you contribute your local knowledge to make a more detailed and comprehensive map of the changing world around us. Begin in your neighborhood and try adding the building footprints for all the restaurants along the beach, updating the one way street that just recently became a two-way, or mapping the local stadium before heading off to a game. Once approved, your contributions will appear on Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Maps for mobile, accurately reflecting your real-life neighborhood.

You can also create the outline of the nearby lake and tennis courts, add important details about your favorite historic sites, or map the walking paths through the public gardens. Help tourists explore your town by editing road details so visitors can find their way to all the premier destinations. Join with other local mappers and use your local expertise to review one another's contributions to the map."

Google also added one single search box. Also, that the offline Google Maps for Android are coming in the next few weeks. "Users will be able to take maps offline from more than 100 countries. This means that the next time you are on the subway, or don't have a data connection, you can still use our maps," Brian McClendon, VP of Engineering, Google Maps said.

An important next step in improving all of these areas--comprehensiveness, accuracy, and usability of our maps--is the ability to model the world in 3D. Since 2006, we've had textured 3D buildings in Google Earth,

To improve the usability of the Maps -- Google said, that they will begin adding 3D models to entire metropolitan areas to Google Earth on mobile devices. "This is possible thanks to a combination of our new imagery rendering techniques and computer vision that let us automatically create 3D cityscapes, complete with buildings, terrain and even landscaping, from 45-degree aerial imagery," posted McClendon.

Google notes, that by the end of the year they aim to have 3D coverage for metropolitan areas with a combined population of 300 million people.

Luc Vincent, engineering director, taking the Street View Trekker for a trial run in Tahoe

Watch the Street View Trekker in action:

Founded in 1988, The HALO Trust, World's oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organization is using Google Earth to help get mines out of the ground. Now you can take a tour of the mine-affected areas of Cambodia and Angola with the HALO Trust using Google Earth, and see how landmine removal efforts have helped build safe and vibrant communities.

"Dedicated to the removal of the hazardous debris of war, HALO has cleared over 414,000 acres of land and removed over 13 million landmines and other explosive remnants. Their work allows families to return home, land to be used for agriculture, roads to be re-opened, and children to walk to school safely."

In the video below, Angelina Jolie, who has visited mine removal efforts in a number of war-torn countries, lent her voice for the narration.



Google today said that they are aware of Google Maps bug and working on a fix, how it displays business URLs from Google Maps.

As SIM Partners reported yesterday, local business listings on Google.com are showing links to maps.google.com -- the URL for the business' old Place page -- rather than showing links to the business' website. A Google spokesperson said:

We're currently experiencing a technical error affecting a limited number of links for our local listings. We're aware of this error and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible.