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Ben West

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Like a google earth street view, except for trekking/climbing to allow handicapped people to join the fun

My idea is for a modified Google street view on Google maps which records famous trekking routes throughout the world.

Recently I was trekking alone through the Huayhuash Circuit in Peru and got to thinking that it is such a shame for disabled many people to only view photos of these amazing places and not experience them in 3D as walkers do.

After daydreaming in Peru I was in Marseille, France with a friend and saw a Google street car. This got me to think “Why not design a hat with 360 degree’s of wide angle lens’s attached (similar in design to the google car attachment) to record the famous treks in the world for people to enjoy?” I would envisage a switch inserted in the heel of a boot to trigger a photo to be taken... but all these technical details are easily sorted out. This system would also work for high altitude climbing expeditions. Imagine a disabled person being able to experience every step of a climb on Mount Everest, or an older trekker being able to reminisce on a past trek, in 3D, every step of the way.

I have trekked in Tasmania, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina and have climbed ‘proper’ mountains in New Zealand, Nepal, Peru and Ecuador. I have just returned to Denmark after successfully summiting Manaslu (8163mtrs) in the Gorkha region of Nepal. (see www.speedfly8000.com) Needless to say I am competent with carrying big loads over great distances and would love to share my fun with people less able to join me. What do you think?

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    Dec 10 2011: I just climbed in Nepal with a Go-pro camera mounted on my head, they weigh about 100grams, have a view angle of about 160 degrees and take amazing photos, three of these lenses on a helmet and a solid state drive in your pack would not be that heavy and should produce good results I think. Going to maybe make a prototype with a few electrical engineer mates when I am back in Aus. I'll keep you posted! Thanks for the feedback
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    Dec 10 2011: Yeah, I think it would also be nice to be able to track how places/walks change over the years as well. I have contacted google about working with them to develop my idea and am waiting on their reply, fingers crossed!
    • Dec 10 2011: Im crossing my fingers for you too!
      Do you think the current quality of the street view cameras will be sufficient? I mean, if you're trekking all the way to the top with heavy equipment, you dont want to find out everything is just pixelated and you cant make anything out.
  • Dec 9 2011: For reminising older treks, your idea is brilliant. I personally would enjoy watching something like that again and again, especialy as you would have the time to look at things you didnt see before.