Google Street View takes pictures of Kinmen County

PICTURE THIS::A Google Street View car has been seen driving through Kinmen’s downtown areas and past the Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor distillery

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 - Page 4

Google Inc yesterday confirmed that it has taken photographs of Kinmen County in an effort to expand the coverage of its panoramic street-level images, Street View.

However, the US Internet service specialist declined to reveal how many scenic spots on Kinmen it has shot or its schedule for including the pictures on its Street View service.

An operator was seen in Kinmen last week carrying Google’s Street View “Trekker” — the compact backpack version of its Street View vehicle — and taking pictures of the island’s historic Jyuguang Tower, a structure that is accessible only on foot.

A Google Street View car was also seen driving through Kinmen’s downtown areas and past the eponymous Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor distillery.

Google uses its new Trekker camera to shoot images of scenic spots that its other devices have a hard time reaching.

The company has put cameras on vehicles such as cars, bicycles and trolleys to help capture Taiwan’s street views, and has achieved 90 percent coverage of the nation to date.

However, the smaller Trekker device is being introduced to expand the service’s coverage to locations accessible only on foot, and a contractor has been hired to handle the project, the company said.

According to Google’s Web site, the Trekker is operated by an Android device and consists of 15 lenses angled in different directions so images can be stitched together into 360° panoramic views, which will be featured on the Google Maps service.

The company said earlier this month that it had taken pictures of more than 10 hard-to-access scenic locations in Taiwan with the Trekker backpack camera.