Street View Trekking Grand Canyon; Chrome Developer Tools Device Emulation and More

Google Maps Street View team is now collecting imagery from Grand Canyon using the "Trekker"--a wearable backpack with a camera system on top--to traverse the Grand Canyon and capture 360-degree images of one of the most breathtaking natural landscapes on the planet."The Trekker--which its operator controls via an Android phone and automatically gathers photos as […]

Google Maps Street View team is now collecting imagery from Grand Canyon using the "Trekker"--a wearable backpack with a camera system on top--to traverse the Grand Canyon and capture 360-degree images of one of the most breathtaking natural landscapes on the planet.

"The Trekker--which its operator controls via an Android phone and automatically gathers photos as he walks--enables the collection of high-quality imagery from places that are only accessible on foot," informs Google.

This week, the hikers collected photos from portions of the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park, including the ridge, the famous Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, and more.

"These panoramic views will soon be live on Google Maps, giving everyone from real-life visitors to armchair travelers the opportunity to marvel at this beautiful, majestic site from the comfort of their computers or mobile devices," Google posted.

Google App Engine October release brings a number of offerings, fixes, and small refinements as colorful as the fall season.

General Enhancements included in version 1.7.3 of App Engine: Django 1.4 is now fully supported for Python 2.7; and Java classloading priority can now be granted to specific JAR files.

App Engine SDK support for Java 7

  • ability to use the String class in Switch statements
  • Expression of binary literals using simple prefixes 0b or 0B
  • Single catch blocks that can handle multiple exceptions
  • Improved type inference for generic instance creation
  • Auto closing of resources when enclosed within a try-with-resources statement
  • Simplified varargs method invocation

To get started, download the latest App Engine Java SDK and a Java SE 7 or JDK 7 distribution. From there they can follow the existing documentation for running and testing applications locally.

Chrome Developer Tools recently received new features with several UI changes to improve development and debugging workflow.

First up, Google introducing device emulation support in Chrome Developer Tools, that am ong other things includes, "native User Agent and dimension overriding." It also supports single touch event emulation to make it easier to debug mobile applications on the desktop.

"This allows developers to debug mobile browsers on different devices and operating systems via the Settings Menu. So, now, you can emulate the exact device metrics of devices like the Galaxy Nexus and the iPhone to test your media query-driven design," Google posted.

Profile rendering performance. Timeline's Frame Mode feature now allows you to profile Chrome's rendering performance, remove the jank and deliver the silky smooth performance users expect from your apps.

Preview your log items. Console now prints a user-friendly snapshot of the object properties taken at log time, whereas by expanding the object manually, you can still see its live content. "With this change, we resolved a longstanding bug many of you prioritized on crbug.com," Google said.

Play with experimental features in Chrome Developer Tools by visiting chrome:flags and enabling them there. Once you do that, "a new tab called "Experiments" will be visible in the settings menu, allowing you to enable and use any of the following experiments:

  • Snippets (essentially multi-line console on steroids)
  • Source mapping support for SASS
  • Native memory profiling
  • Geolocation / orientation override
  • FileSystem inspection
  • Canvas inspection
  • CPU activity in Timeline
  • CSS Regions support," informs Google.

Check out Chrome Developr Tools.