Google Street View trike takes to Amazon to map rainforest

Is there anywhere it hasn't been?

Is there anywhere it hasn't been?

Google Street View

The Amazon will be captured for Google Street View with the help of trikes equipped with 360-degree cameras, like the one abovePhoto: Google

It's mapped the Antarctica, the grounds of historic Bletchley Park and some of the UK's most famous landsmarks. Now Google Street View is taking on a new challenge – it's mapping the Amazon.

Some of Google's Brazil and US Street View and Google Earth Outreach teams are currently in the Amazon, Google said in a blog post this week, where they'll be gathering images of the Amazon river, its surrounding forests and the nearby communities.

The first piece of the Amazon to get the Google Street View treatment will be a 50km section of the Rio Negro River, between the Tumbira community near Manaus to the Terra Preta community, according to Google.

Google will be employing the Street View trike – a more lightweight vehicle than the Street View car typically used to gather images of urban areas – in the Amazon, where it will be pedalled "along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and manoeuvre[d] up close to where civilization meets the rainforest", Google said. The camera will also be mounted on a boat travelling the Amazon to photograph the river itself.

Google will also be employing enterprise technology in the Amazon: it will be using the same tech behind its Business Places services – which maps the interior of companies on Google Maps – to gather imagery of places, such as a school or community centre, along the Amazon.

Once Google Street View teams leave the area, the mapping will continue – Google is leaving the Street View image-gathering kit with workers from the non-profit Foundation for a Sustainable Amazon who will be trained to use the equipment.

"By teaching locals how to operate these tools, they can continue sharing their points of view, culture and ways of life with audiences across the globe," Google said.