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Google tackles El Capitan to capture first-ever vertical Street View collection

By Shawn Knight
Jun 24, 2015
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  1. El Capitan, described by some as the world’s most famous rock formation, is getting a lot of love from the tech community as of late. Apple named its latest build of OS X after the Yosemite National Park wonder and now, it’s the subject of Google’s first-ever vertical Street View collection.

    Google partnered with well-known climbers Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill and Tommy Caldwell on the project.

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    Caldwell, who completed his climb in January 2015, said he didn’t hesitate to help when Google extended the invitation. He added that Yosemite has been such an important part of his life that telling the story of El Capitan through Street View was right up his alley.

    Once the team had the mechanics of climbing with Street View equipment figured out, they set about to capture two sets of vertical Street View imagery. The first step involved capturing footage of the climbers as they ascended the granite mountain. Then, they handed the camera rig over to Honnold who scaled the “The Nose” of El Capitan to capture a first-person perspective of the 3,000 foot climb.

    Documenting unorthodox wonders like this is nothing new for the Street View team. In the past, we’ve seen the team hitch a ride on a camel for a trip across the Arabian Desert, tour ancient Egypt, map the world's tallest building, traverse the Top Gear test track in the UK with The Stig and map out the Galapagos Islands.

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