Raffia, The Google Streetview Camel

Raffia the Streetview camel is an important piece of Google's online content strategy. How else would you get a 360 degree view of an oasis?


(Google Streetview Camel)

The beast has become the first animal to carry Google's Trekker camera, which is typically hoisted by humans to capture 360-degree images of destinations inaccessible to its Street View cars.

Google spokeswoman Monica Baz says the camel, reportedly named Raffia, was an apt way of documenting the beautiful shifting sands of Abu Dhabi's Liwa Oasis.

"With every environment and every location, we try to customize the capture and how we do it for that part of the environment," she told The National newspaper. "In the case of Liwa we fashioned it in a way so that it goes on a camel so that it can capture imagery in the best, most authentic and least damaging way," Baz said.

The Liwa Oasis is a 100 kilometer-wide (62-mile) scenic desert, southeast of the city of Abu Dhabi that includes some of the world's biggest sand dunes.

I'm fascinated by the juxtaposition of one of the oldest forms of travel, and the most modern technology. The same contrast is used to great effect in the 1999 film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Not a prediction, but enjoyable anyway.


(Gungan Fambaa)

A lumbering beast of burden favored by the Gungans of Naboo, fambaas are immense quadrupeds capable of hauling enormous cargoes. The Gungan Grand Army uses fambaas as transports for their impressive shield generators. A pair of fambaas travelling in single file each carries a necessary component for the generator to function.

Via CNN.

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