Google Shows Us The World From The Camel’s Point Of View

Alex Olson Contributor
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Google hired out a camel to collect Street View images in the United Arab Emirates.

A 10-year-old camel named Raffia was chosen by the company to walk around the UAE’s Liwa Oasis with a Street View camera affixed to its hump, the National reports.

The panoramic images can now be viewed online, allowing armchair travelers to see sand, dunes, endless expanses of desert, other camels, and the harsh, unforgiving Arabian sun from the comfort of their living rooms.

This is the first time Google Street View has used an animal of any kind to collect images, according to spokeswoman Joyce Baz. She said precautions were taken to protect Raffia.

The camel didn’t make the trek on its own, however. An Indian guide walked the animal from the early morning to sunset, seeking the clearest weather conditions for the painstaking work of documenting every grain of sand.

Google Street View was launched in 2007. It collects 360-degree views of streets all over the world, as well as panoramic views of World Heritage Sites and other landmarks.

Baz was optimistic that the project, only the third time Street View has come to the UAE, will help boost tourism to the Liwa Oasis region.

“Twenty to 30 per cent of the views come from outside the country,” she said. “Liwa is a highly touristic site and is growing in popularity.”