Over the next couple of months, you may begin to notice a vehicle traveling around the area that is trying to capture high-quality pictures. There is no need for concern, as Wheatland County is collaborating with Google to enhance the street view experience on Google Maps. This will happen by capturing 360-degree road imagery of all the roads in the area.
GIS coordinator at Wheatland County Harry Kim explains that this is the first time the County has done something like this so it's going to be a lot of trial and error.
"We have a camera that's called Insta-360 Pro 2 and it's a camera that's essentially partnered with Google and then once the picture is captured it will be uploaded onto Google Street."
Kim says it is approved by Google, so when it's uploaded it's able to recognize what the camera is, what was captured by the dates, and everything is just done by Google. "We don't have to do anything else except for capture it and upload it."
The County is looking to capture all the township and range roads that are County owned and maintained. "It is going to be good for our operations as well because they (Google) are able to see spots of missing signs or road issues and stuff like that in the future."
The main reasons that Wheatland County is deciding to do this are cost and repeatability.
"We are using a Google-partnered camera that doesn't cost much and if we do a capture, it's once and it's done but this way in the future, if we ever have a road that gets paved and updated, we can scan that road and have the most up-to-date information on that road."
The picturing of the roads is most likely to take place over the whole summer, as they have captured 203 kilometers so far and according to their Google stats, they are already at 50,000 views.
Once the picture is captured and sent to Google, they have their own AI system that blurs out all the faces and license plates, so none of your personal information is getting leaked. "A lot of our scenes will be empty roads, quiet roads that won't have any vehicles even hamlets should be blurred as well."
The county advises residents to be patient with the vehicle as it will be traveling at a maximum speed of 45 km/h to ensure the best results.
Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org