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Google is set to capture images inside Australian national parks, zoos, and other famous landmarks with the launch of its new service called Street View Trike.

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According to the company, the Street View Trike will help Google gather images of off-the-beaten track and pedestrian-only locations across the country, taking Street View beyond road-accessed landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge to places like Taronga Zoo and perhaps even national parks.  
 
The Trike consists of a modified bicycle mounted with a Street View camera and GPS system. Google’s Street View Trike cyclists will ride the 110 kilogram bike in different locations around the country. 

The Trike made its inaugural outing to Taronga Zoo, capturing images of Taronga’s wildlife and Sydney’s spectacular harbour that will be shared with millions of internet users around Australia and the world via Google Maps.

Google Australia Engineering Manager, Raul Vera said, “The Street View Trike will help us to create an even more comprehensive virtual atlas of Australia.  We’re lucky enough to live in a country with some of the most spectacular natural environments and architectural features on the globe, and the Trike will allow us to get off-road to share these marvels with people around Australia and the world.”

 

“Collecting imagery at the iconic Taronga Zoo today is a huge thrill, and we’re so excited that Taronga is among the first zoos in the world to share their environments online.  Now we want Australians to share with us their favourite off-the-beaten-track spots of beauty and interest, so we can send the Trike there to highlight them on the world stage,” added Vera.

Google is also inviting Aussies to take part in an online poll where you can suggest where you’d like the Trike to explore during its time in Australia. Google has developed four categories for people to submit their suggestions:

–    City Life
–    Cultural Areas
–    Natural Wonders
–    Hidden Gems

Nominations could include anything from Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens to Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia.  Ideas can be submitted online at www.google.com.au/trike with entries closing on Monday 8th February, 2010.
 
Google will select a short list of the most original ideas from each category, before inviting the Australian public to cast their vote for the locations that the Trike will visit. Google only collects images from public roads, so will work closely with all other relevant organisations to collect images of privately-owned destinations. 

See the video below to find out what the Google Trike is all about.

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