Google Street View finally captures Venice
Google's Street View service has changed the way in which we plan our journeys and do research on areas we are visiting. With the company's easily recognisable camera cars pounding the black-top in countries across the globe, users can easily lookup anywhere that has piqued their interest.
There are, of course, some areas where the camera cars can't travel. Area 51, for instance, is poorly represented, as is North Korea. However, there is one city that surprisingly has eluded Google's team of mappers since the service was launched in 2007: Venice.
Built on water, the romantic destination has no major roads on which the camera cars can operate. Seemingly irritated at having this glaring hole in their otherwise extensive mapping, Google has turned the camera car into a 33lb rucksack and sent its employees in on foot.
Called "The Trekker", the camera backpacks have previously been used in other hard to access areas, such as the Burj Khalifa in the UAE city of Dubai.
Google also uses tricycles, trolleys and snowmobiles, all kitted out with a 360-degree camera, to map areas of difficult terrain where the cars simply cannot go.
It's not just mountain ranges, however. The range of equipment gets most of its use in congested pedestrian-only areas of towns and cities.
And it works hard, too, with nearly 50 countries available for detailed inspection on Street View.
The images of Venice should be made live in the next two weeks.
Google is continuing to expand its mapping database, with its Street View cars currently driving around Bangladesh, Peru, Swaziland and Serbia.