Google Maps goes off-roading

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If fear of getting lost in the woods has deterred you from hiking the great outdoors, pretty soon you’ll have no excuse. Recently, Google announced that they are developing Google Street View Trekker, an extension of Google Maps’ Street View feature, but taken off the grid. Historically, Google Maps featured only places where cars could travel— because they captured almost every view using cars.

However, with Trekker they’ve adopted a new way of capturing the world: extremely advanced backpacks that feature panoramic cameras, an inventive method that will now allow Google Maps to access all manner of off-road locations. The project is still a work in progress, but the prospect of having this feature in the city is exciting.

Some hiking purists will probably object to the mechanization of the pastime; but having Trekker as a resource that allows them to discover new trails will probably bring a change of heart. And imagine how grateful they’ll be when it’s pitch black and they don’t have to check every tree for that little stripe of faded paint.

Photo: Joanna Stern/ABC News.