Google Street View’s Wild Kingdom: an elephant, a camel and very naughty monkeys

Because Google wants you to be able to see your house on Street View even if it’s a goat-hair tent in the desert or a thatch hut in a jungle clearing, the company has gone to fairly extreme lengths to gather imagery.

In Cambodia, from which the Mountain View tech giant has produced Street View tours of temples at the famed Angkor Wat complex, monkeys destroyed Street View gear, according to a new report.

Fortunately, other, larger animals behaved better.

An elephant was enlisted into the Street View effort, according to the Wall Street Journal report June 8.  There was no mention of any trampling of equipment or Googlers.

In the United Arab Emirates, whose sweeping deserts are less well-known than its gleaming metropoli, a camel was equipped with a camera pack, according to the Journal.

Monkeying around in Thailand aside, the mapping done via Street View cameras is vitally important to Google’s business, both because the company competes with Apple and other firms to produce maps and navigation apps used by large numbers of people, and because detailed street mapping is key to the success of self-driving cars — an arena in which Google is competing with major tech companies as well as major car firms.

 

Photo: Google Street View cars at the CeBIT tech fair in 2010 in Hanover, Germany, on March 3, 2010.  (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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