Panoramic view of Penn captured by Google 'Street View'

Google trikePhotos by Scott H. Spitzer

Users of Google Maps are now able to see panoramic street views of Penn’s campus through a new feature called Google “Street View.”

Last summer, Google collaborated with Penn to collect ground-level images of campus using a specially designed vehicle called the Street View Trike. A Google representative rolled around Penn on the vehicle capturing photos of the landscape with several cameras.

Street View allows users to browse through an immersive, street-level site, with the option of rotating the images 360 degrees and panning up and down 290 degrees. To create the panoramic effect, Google essentially stitches together the pictures captured by their cameras, matching the images to a specific location using GPS devices. Faces of people in the images, as well as license plates captured on “Street View” are blurred to protect individuals’ privacy.

Google launched “Street View” in 2007. In the beginning, the images were collected by a van with a big camera on its roof. That evolved into cars driving through public roads in cities and towns and, most recently, the Street Trike.

At Penn, Google used the trike to get pictures of the University’s best known “off street” sites such as Locust and Hamilton walks and the BioPond. Google Maps launched Penn’s “Street View” on Jan. 21. While some of the images are not fully functional yet, you can start your virtual stroll through campus by clicking here.

Originally published on February 12, 2010