Welcome to the zoo
On Australia Day Eve 2010, Google unveiled the trike which will soon begin snapping Street View pics in Australia in areas inaccesible to cars.
Google will begin by mapping and snapping Sydney's Taronga Zoo, where today's launch took place. The company is currently taking submissions of interesting places to map and snap at www.google.com.au/trike; submissions close on Monday, 8 February 2010. From Monday 15 Feburary to Thursday 25 February Australians can vote for their favourite locations from a Google selected shortlist.
On board the trike at the launch was Justin Baird, an Innovationist — yes, that's his job title — at Google's Sydney office. The trike itself weighs around 110kg and shouldn't exceed about 8km/h, although given the hilly nature of the zoo, stamina, manpower and strength seem to be bigger issues.
Smile! You're on Candid Camera
There are 11 cameras atop the trike. The Street View feature of Google Maps is currently in the process of being refreshed with new images, including those from the trike, due to come online later in the year.
The keypad and screen allows the rider to check that images are being correctly snapped by the trike's cameras.
Back to the hotel, please
At the back of the trike sits the setup's GPS antenna. The design of the trike is based on the bicycle rickshaws seen in Asia, with the computer gear residing where a passenger would otherwise sit.
Fire me up
We believe that the red case houses a generator for the trike's computer.
What the trike's cameras will hopefully catch when it traverses the zoo in anger.