Grand Canyon, the Google Street View version

A 360-degree view from the famous Bright Angel Trail.

Street View imagery of the Grand Canyon is now available on Google Maps.

Says a spokesperson, "Our team visited this spectacular national monument last October to collect the imagery, and after covering more than 75 miles of trails and surrounding roads, the panoramic views are now accessible to anyone around the world thinking about visiting in person, or wanting to make a virtual trip instead."

Here's the Google blog post with few of the 9,500+ panoramas they captured, and here's an explanation of how they did it, and with what gear.

Product Manager Ryan Falor with an Android phone and a "Trekker."

The Street View team is using the Trekker—a wearable backpack with a camera system on top—to traverse the Grand Canyon and capture 360-degree images of one of the most breathtaking natural landscapes on the planet. The narrow ridges and steep, exposed trails of the Grand Canyon provide the perfect terrain for our newest camera system. The Trekker—which its operator controls via an Android phone and automatically gathers photos as he walks—enables the collection of high-quality imagery from places that are only accessible on foot.

Operations Manager Steve Silverman (left) and Product Manager Ryan Falor (right)
hiking the Bright Angel Trail on the South Rim with Trekkers.