While most imagery for Google Street View has been shot with car-mounted cameras, there have been instances when cameras have been mounted on boats as well as on people's back. But now, for the first time, the company has mounted its Trekker camera onto the back of a 10-year-old camel called Raffia.
The aim was to capture the desert around Liwa Oasis (UAE) that stretches around 62 miles from east to west. "Using camels for the collection allowed us to collect authentic imagery and minimize our disruption of this fragile environment", Google said in a blog post.
According to The National, shooting began as early as 6am, the quietest time of day and also the clearest weather-wise, managing to capture awesome views of sand dunes, beautiful palm trees, and more. An Indian guide lead the camel on the Journey.
Liwa Oasis is the largest oasis in the Arabian peninsula, and is known to be one of the most history rich in the desert. Google hopes that Street View exposure will boost tourist influx in the region, although those who can't stand the heat can go for a virtual tour as the latest images are now available online.
Launched back in 2007, Street View enables people around the globe explore cities from the comfort of their homes. Initially only available in five American cities: San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami and New York City, has now captured images from 59 countries.
However, the program has also been mired in controversies. Back in 2010, the search giant admitted that its Street View cars had mistakenly collected private information, including emails and passwords, from open Wi-Fi networks.