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Google Hires Camel as Virtual Tour Guide to Map the Liwa Desert

Image: Google Hires Camel as Virtual Tour Guide to Map the Liwa Desert
In this December 22, 2013 file photo, camels walk along sand dunes in the Liwa desert west of Abu Dhabi, as the Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival takes place on. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 10 Oct 2014 07:03 AM

Google hired a camel to carry its mapping camera through the Liwa Desert outside of Abu Dhabi, and now anyone with an Internet connection can wander the dunes from the comfort of home.

"On your virtual trip through the desert, you’ll find sand dunes that reach an astounding height of 25-40 meters. These rolling sandy hills were home to early settlers back in the Late Stone Age, making Liwa one of the oldest sites in the United Arab Emirates," the company wrote on the Google Maps blog.

"To bring this stunning desert to Street View, we fashioned the Trekker to rest on a camel, which gathered imagery as it walked. Using camels for the collection allowed us to collect authentic imagery and minimize our disruption of this fragile environment."

In addition to the rolling golden hills, users might spot scattered date trees, as well as a few date farms. Way back when, the date trees were crucial to the Bedouins, who used the trunk and palms of the trees to weave their tents, baskets, and more. The fruit, of course, was a readily available tasty treat.

These days, the desert is a popular tourist destination, and even the locals take to it when they need to get out of the big city, and into nature.

Forbes noted that the Trekker camera is often strapped to the top of a car or on the back of a human, so the camel is a nice new piece of flare. Based on the height of the images captures many of them might have been captured by a human. Google knows how to publicize its work though, and released alongside the Maps update a glamorous video of a man in traditional head scarf and robes guiding the camera-strapped camel through the dunes on a bright 6 a.m. walk.



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Google hired a camel to carry its mapping camera through the Liwa Desert outside of Abu Dhabi, and now anyone with an Internet connection can wander the dunes from the comfort of home.
google, hires, camel, map, desert
307
2014-03-10
Friday, 10 Oct 2014 07:03 AM
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