Google Street View captures campus images

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | May 30, 2012

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A specialized car and trike recently roamed Emory's campus to collect images for Google Street View. Photo by John Mills.

The slow-moving tricycle and small car roaming Emory's streets and walkways recently were collecting more than curious stares — they were gathering visual data to illustrate Emory's Druid Hills campus on Google Maps Street View.

Using a series of directional cameras, the customized equipment is used to capture a sequence of images that will be stitched together to create a panoramic view of Emory's urban landscape.

The technology, which is featured online in Google Maps and Google Earth, was launched in 2007 to provide panoramic views of streets around the world through 360-degree street-level imagery. Lately, those views have been expanded to include an increasing number of college and university campuses.

At Emory, the recording was accomplished with administrative approval, seen as a means to assist with public navigation and to provide another point of entry to the University, adding to the roster of walking tours and virtual campus tours now available.

"It's a chance to give people a better view of our beautiful campus — definitely another way to explore and experience Emory," says John Mills, executive online producer for the Office of Communications and Marketing.

The Google team has already recorded "street views" of all public roads bordering the Emory campus, including some publicly accessible roads. The recent documentation marks the first full mapping of nearly all roads and pedestrian pathways on the Druid Hills property, including the Clairmont Campus. Emory's Oxford, Briarcliff and Midtown locations were not recorded during Google's May 25 visit.

To ensure privacy, Google Street View routinely blurs license plates and the faces of pedestrians and bystanders. Those with privacy concerns are invited to contact Google by following prompts on the Street View page.

Google officials indicated that it could six months to a year before the Emory panorama is available in Street View.