The Street View function on Google Maps is incredibly useful, and many of us have even seen one of the company cars cruising through the neighborhood, capturing the thousands of shots necessary to make this feature operate. However, for spots that are a little more difficult to access with an automobile, Google has come up with a way to continue on its quest to document the globe: strap a special backpack, complete with a 360-degree view camera, onto an adventurous traveler and send them on their way. In Thailand, tri-athlete Panupong Luangsa-ard is the man to thank for 150 photographs showing places of interest all over the country that were recently added to the Google database.
For the past two years, Panupong has trekked through the Land of a Thousand Smiles, criss-crossing over rice fields, beaches, and forests to get some amazing shots. According to a Google representative: “While collecting just the tea plantations and strawberry fields, he burned through four pairs of shoes.” The daring Thai athlete-turned-photographer traveled across 500,000 km of the country (using various modes of transportation) and walked about 500km of the journey on foot, all with the Trekker pack safely perched on his back.
This hi-tech accessory weighs in at 18kg and sticks out about 2 ft over the top of the user's shoulders in order to capture panoramic views. If you're interested in donning the Trekker backpack and traveling to some exotic corners of the Earth, Google accepts applications here.
All images via Google.