World Wonders Project by Google - Behind The Scenes

Uploaded by worldwonders on 30.05.2012

>> BLASCHKE: The World Wonders Project is about showing heritage sites globally with our Street View
technology. We make them accessible for everyone online just as if you were there.
>> CROSSAN: For me, the great thing about the experience is it gives that magic moment,
that moment of being able to go and see something and be able to just lose yourself in it.
>> BLASCHKE: Of course, there are a lot of documentaries, videos, books about these heritage
sites, but they've never really been brought together in a single place.
>> KLINGNER: Most of the problems we tackle at Google bear some resemblance to problems
that people have solved before but the biggest difference is always the scale. And when you're
talking about scales like that, you can't apply the same techniques and approaches that
have been used at smaller scales. You really have to start from scratch.
>> FALOR: There are a lot of challenges with collecting locations for Street View and even
more challenges for the kinds of places that we're going after for Wonders of the World.
The size of these places, the scale and scope; we have to spend a lot of time planning for
how we're going to collect them. Sometimes bad weather can throw it off and you have
to do another collect because of that. >> VINCENT: When Street View started, we were just,
you know, putting cameras and other equipment on cars and we were driving around. But
as the project grew, we realized that we also needed to be able to go where cars can't go.
So we started by developing what we called a trike. >> RATNER: So what we've done is taken that
same high quality Google camera and put it on a smaller package so that we can get more
intimate with the surrounding and get closer up, so there's a better experience, a more
immersive experience with some of these historical locations.
>> You have that full 360 degree view as if you're walking around and strolling around
these places and being there in person. >> CROSSAN: There's something different about
being able to get into the immersive experience and actually walk around that place.
>> RATNER: It's a custom camera built by Google. Below that, you'll find three laser range
finders that tell us distances from objects that allow us to provide click-to-go inside
of the Street View. Inside of here, we have a custom Google computer and a generator to
power the system. And finally up here, we have a monitor, so the operator can see where
they've already gone and where they're still going and a numerical keypad for them to interact
with it and get the thing going. >> FALOR: At Google, we believe that bringing
more information online and making more information accessible is a prime goal. And so in some
cases, we're able to take the camera equipment to places that you wouldn't normally be able
to go as a tourist. With Stonehenge, you can actually walk amongst the stones in the center
and sort of see what it looks like from inside the circle.
>> KLINGNER: Here, we have a little model of our trike and a painted sphere that shows
the 3D panorama. You can see the individual cameras that are used to create this high
resolution, spherical panorama that you can get inside and view inside the Street View
client. >> MILITE: Google is always trying to find
new ways to bring Street View to people. For example, there's a snowmobile, so we've had some slopes in Switzerland.
We've put a trike on a train and we captured one of the most known railroads
in Switzerland. >> VINCENT: We recently went to the Amazon and
there, the challenge was to capture both on land and on the boat. So we ended up just
putting our tricycle on the boat. >> MILITE: There's going to be more ways to
bring the product to more places like bike trails, mountains or underground, wherever
we can collect. >> BLASCHKE: Google has a responsibility to help preserve
our heritage and our culture and pass history on. So, in that sense, we're trying to digitally
preserve these sites. >> VINCENT: Our goal is to go to every park,
every museum, every world wonder out there and make it available to our users.