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Google creeps deeper with Street View trikes

Cars can't get everywhere, so Google sends specially built Street View tricycles so that you can view, for example, botanical gardens and hikes. Today saw a vast new array of images from around the world.

Please don't tell Google, but its Street View cars haven't been up my street yet. I don't know why. Perhaps my rather forceful neighbor from Tennessee scared them off.

However, Google has today revealed a huge raft of images of many places around the world that it could only reach by tricycle.

In a blog post on the Google site, software engineer (what else?) Jeremy Pack explained that the trikes have been successful in breaching the ramparts of places hitherto unscalable by car.

Take the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin (which, hopefully, will not be subject to severe budget cuts). Then there's Chateau de Chenonceaux in Civray-de-Touraine, France.

Yes, you can now waft along with the Google trikes--which weigh 250 pounds and are 9 feet long--as they sail up the paths of stately homes and other places of fun and laughter.

Google engineer, Daniel Ratner, who designed the bikes (and their 7-foot masts), told the San Jose Mercury News that he had personally pedaled his wares in Legoland and the Santa Monica Pier. So one place that is an engineer's delight and another that is unique for its ability to bring Hollywood stars and homeless people together.

The trikes were actually created during the 20 percent of time that Google's employees are given to work on personal projects. And Ratner told the Mercury News that he based his design on that of the pedicabs at San Francisco's Ferry Building.

Though the first trike images were posted in 2009, today saw a veritable triking rollout from many parts of the world.

Yes, these lovely trikes have even started to photograph hiking trails such as the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District in Rancho San Antonio.

Soon, they will be driving right up your garden path so that they can take a really good shot of your kitchen. Or your nostril hair. Well, perhaps.