Live from Raffia the Camel: Google Technology Gives Us a 360 Degree View of the Arabian Desert


Is there anything that Google doesn’t do? The company recently employed its first animal, a 10 year old camel named Raffia, in the recording of its Street View images, all the way over in Liwa Desert, United Arab Emirates.

What they are recording besides sand, sand, and more sand remains to be seen. The desert hills date back to the Stone Age, which makes it one of the oldest spots in the country to have been inhabited by humans.

“To bring this stunning desert to Street View, we fashioned the Trekker [a special camera-equipped backpack] to rest on a camel, which gathered imagery as it walked. Using camels for the collection allowed us to collect authentic imagery and minimise our disruption of this fragile environment,” says Google’s Najeeb Jarrar. He reports their hope is to be able to view what is was like to travel there in caravans thousands of years ago.

Pictures from Raffia’s course can be seen here.


Zachery Bridgeman | Newscult