This week's mapping of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut by a camera-sporting tricycle is the farthest north Google has ever been in Canada — and is it arguably one of the most remote places, but it isn't the only remote locale the Internet search engine has ventured to.
Street View, within Google Maps, allows viewers to look at places around the world through 360-degree images captured at the street level.
Chances are your own home, place of work or even favourite coffee shop can be viewed if you type in the address and look around. But Street View is also starting to go beyond urban areas and use new approaches to capture views of really hard-to-get-to places.
- The Street View cameras mounted on cars have already photographed most of North America's major cities, but now Google is using tricycles to plot a course to locations that aren't accessible by typical motor vehicles. Some of the places the tricycles are mapping are campuses, theme parks and various landmarks.
- In 2010 Street View went to Antarctica, officially expanding to have presence on every continent.
- This month Street View made it possible to have a virtual tour of the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza and other Mesoamerican sites.
- In winter of 2012 Google announced plans to also document Australia's Great Barrier Reef as part of their Seaview project. Those images will go live online in 2013.
- The Brazilian Amazon rainforest is yet another project in the works, also slated for an early 2013 release.
There is also a Street View partner program where people can make requests that their property be captured by the roving cameras.
Many privacy advocates objected to Street View on account of the images capturing activities, like men coming out of strip clubs, sunbathers and protesters.
Google maintained all images were captured on public property but several countries banned Street View temporarily as a result.
The internet company's top privacy counsel had said that Google was willing to blur images after Canada's privacy commissioner expressed concern in cases where individuals were able to be identified by their picture.