PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Google is collecting images of Florida's 825 miles of beaches with its street view trekker technology. The sophisticated camera has 15 lenses that take 360-degree images every two-and-a-half seconds.
The camera is about the size of a basketball and mounted on a 40-pound backpack. Google has loaned two trekker cameras to Florida.
Two teams of two people will walk the entire length of the coastline to get the pictures. The teams can cover about 50 miles every week. Someone will scout ahead to ensure the person carrying the camera can keep walking without interruption.
Florida tourism officials say peoples' faces will be edited out of the images. When the mapping is complete, any one in the world will be able to see Florida's beaches from their computers. The images are expected to be complete in early 2014. Florida's beaches are the first in the world to be mapped by Google.
Mount Fuji in Japan is also being mapped by Google. Trekkers are being sent to the mountain's peak.
Google's David Marx says the images will allow hikers to see the trail beforehand and be better prepared for their journey.
Google has already sent the high tech cameras into the Grand Canyon, parts of Antarctica, and some of the great barrier reef off the coast of Australia.