Google maps the Grand Canyon

Google goes backpacking in the USA

Google seem to be taking over the world but there are still one or two places that they haven't yet reached.

Google and its street-view cameras have already taken users diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, tomb-raiding at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and skiing on snow-covered slopes in Canada.

Google have now set their sights, mounted first time on a backpack, on the Grand Canyon, showcasing the attraction's most popular hiking trails on the South Rim and other walkways.

"Any of these sorts of iconic, cultural, historical locations that are not accessible by road is where we want to go," said Ryan Falor, product manager at Google.

Google announced the "trekker" earlier this year but made its first official collection of data this week at the Grand Canyon.

The trekker captures images every 2.5 seconds with 15 cameras that are 5 megapixels each from the rest areas, the steep switchbacks, the change from juniper trees to scrub brush and the traffic that moves aside as a courtesy to mule riders.

Google maps the Grand Canyon

The backpacks aren't ready for volunteer use, but Google has said it wants to deploy them at national forests, to the narrow streets of Venice, Mount Everest and to ancient ruins and castles.

Google launched its Street View feature in 2007 and has expanded from five U.S. cities to more than 3,000 in 43 countries.

Google teams and volunteers have covered more than 5 million miles with the Street View vehicles on a scale that other companies haven't approached.

Do you use Google Street View when backpacking and travelling? Jump on the message boards and let us know what you think!

Also, if you're planning a gap year then head on over to our planning section for more advice and information.