Google Street View Trike could map Faneuil Hall
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Will Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace be one of the first pedestrian malls to get the Google Street View mapping treatment?
As amateur cartographers know, Google debuted a Street View feature in many cities two years ago to complement its Google Maps offering. Not only could Google Map users see traditional maps of those areas, but in the case of urban terrain, users could also opt to see a panorama of stitched-together photos that showed actual pictures of an avenue or neighborhood. Those photos were taken from a car cruising down the street.
Not all venues, though, are accessible by car. And for such places, Google has devised the Street View Trike, which the search-engine giant describes as "a tricycle system, resembling a pedi-cab, with a camera system being towed by the bike. As the trike passes through pedestrian walkways and trails, it automatically gathers 360-degree trike-level images as it goes. Oftentimes, people think that the Street View Trike is an ice cream cart because of the compartments in the back."
The Street View Trike has been used to chart such places as Stonehenge and the University of Pennsylvania, not to mention some bike trails in California, a Google spokesman said.
Last month, Google put a posting on one of its blogs asking visitors to weigh in on where the Street View Trike should be used next.
And now the company has winnowed down the suggestions and disclosed finalists for several categories, including university campuses and theme parks and zoos.
In the pedestrian mall category, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of three finalists along with Chicago's Navy Pier and San Francisco's Pier 39, said the Google spokesman, who added that the voting will conclude at the end of the month.
Dispatching the Street View Trike to take photos of the winner is contingent upon securing permission to collect images of privately-owned locations, Google noted.
Those interested in casting a vote can find out more information at this Web page. (Globe Staff)