Google Street View is heading off-road, with plans to use special tricycles to map Britain's countryside and urban footpaths.
The idea is to photograph points of interest – castles, sports stadia, sites of outstanding natural beauty – and then stitch the images together to provide a 360-degree view on Google Maps.
Camera cars have already done the same thing for 25 UK cities; the trikes will allow the internet search giant to go one step further and get to areas that are inaccessible by motor vehicles.
Fitted with camera masts and a box containing image software, the off-road tricycles will weigh in at a hefty 18-stone (114kg/252lb) so we hope the cyclists employed by Google are fit as fiddles – particularly if they provoke the ire of any angry locals who want to defend their privacy, as happened with one Google Street View car earlier this year!
The mapping is being carried out in association with VisitBritain. It is not yet known when the results will be made public.
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