Google Trike Maps Steveston Trails

Written by on July 17, 2011 in Articles, Blog, News - 11 Comments

To the surprise of Sunday spectators at the Steveston Farmers Market, a large three-wheeled bike carefully wove its way right through the busy crowds. Turns out that the trike was from Google and the employee was in Steveston to add 360 degree panoramic imagery to Google Maps, apparently as part of their biking and hiking trails initiative for Street View. With an aim to capture the “off-the-beaten-track and hard-to-reach places”, these bikes have been spotted as far away as Italy, Britain, Denmark, and Japan, but as of this week have been popping up in DetroitToronto, and Hawaii, and as close as Seattle and Bellevue.


The Google trike surveys Steveston

After completing a loop around Garry Point, the biker seemed slightly nervous but carried on courageously through the large crowds. She had to turn around at the gate where the trail to the north of the Cannery forces bikers to dismount, which is quite the feat considering Google’s stats that each trike weighs about 250 pounds. Amidst making laps around the market, communicating on her walkie-talkie, and checking her dash-mounted computer, she also had to deal with gawkers, fame-seekers, and photo hounds!


The Google-branded bike did two laps through the market

According to Google, the imagery typically takes two months before it goes live, during which time it gets map matched, stitched together, and then blurred to remove any identifiable faces or license plates. As always, any privacy concerns can be reported to Google who can work to digitally remove them. To get a sense of what we can expect when one of Steveston’s best features becomes globally accessible, see what Google’s done with the trails and paths in Monterey, the walkway on the Santa Monica Pier, the waterways of Osaka, and even the magical park of Disneyland Paris.


Google trike takes the scenic route past the Cannery

What do you think about Steveston’s big closeup?


Google trike takes the scenic route past the Cannery

11 Comments on "Google Trike Maps Steveston Trails"

  1. Victor Panlilio July 18, 2011 at 12:28 am ·

    Cool. I’m the Asian guy in the teal T-shirt following the trike trying to get a video of it. I wonder if they’ll blur me out in StreetView when it eventually goes live. Any chance I can get an emailed copy of these photos?

  2. Nick July 18, 2011 at 8:34 am ·

    No problem Victor, we’ve emailed you the pictures. We really loved your expression as you chased that trike!

  3. Martin van den Hemel July 18, 2011 at 10:28 am ·

    Hi Nick,
    We’d love to publish a story about the Google Trike visiting Steveston.
    Would you mind sharing your photos with us?
    If this works, please let us know who snapped the photos (full first and last name) and we’ll credit them.

  4. Nick July 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm ·

    Hi Martin, we’ve sent you an email as well. Glad to help out however we can.

  5. Kay July 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm ·

    Hey I was there but i don’t want my face blured is there anything I can do?

  6. Graham July 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm ·

    Hi Kay,

    Normally Google has to deal with the opposite problem. They have a computer that automatically does all the blurring of faces and license plates. I have read that some people have had success in the UK unblurring faces (or at least getting a hold of the original image). You could always attempt clicking in the “Report a Problem” link that appears at the bottom of the street view window and make a special request. I’m guessing they won’t be quick to respond.

    Any special reason you don’t want you face blurred? You’ve got me interested.

  7. Rino July 25, 2011 at 10:03 am ·

    i agree with Kay. if i was there i’d like my photo seen by relatives and friends! =)

  8. David October 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm ·

    I would like if you guys could let us now when they do go live Thanks

  9. Graham October 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm ·

    Hi David,

    You bet we’ll let you know the moment we hear!

  10. Caset November 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm ·

    Did you know she would be there ahead of time or did you just happen to be at the farmer’s market?

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