Google Uses Camels to Capture Arabian Desert on Street View

Posted on October 11, 2014

Google street view on camel in the Liwa desert

Crossing the Arabian desert is not something most of us will ever do. However, you can now see it on Google Maps. The new Google Maps feature lets users explore the Liwa Desert.

Google designed its Trekker so it could fit on a camel. The camel - and his human companion - helped Google record the footage of the desert. Google says caravan merchants have traveled the desert journey for the past 3,000 years. The camel pictured with the Trekker on its back is named Raffia. Raffia is ten years old.

Google told The Guardian that a camel was not used for its novelty factor. Google says the camel was sued to "capture imagery in the best, most authentic and least damaging way."

The Liwa desert is home to the Liwa Oasis, which is located about 90 miles south-southwest of Abu Dhabi. Google says this is the largest oasis in the Arabian peninsula. It was one of the world's first trade centers. It was home to date farms containing trees and fruit.

Google says in a statement, "Imagine sitting atop a camel looking across a vast expanse of desert dunes. A glimmer of green flashes in the distance. It could be a mirage or a bountiful oasis just awaiting your discovery. Now with Google Maps, you can see for yourself and journey across the sands of the Liwa Desert, one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world."

The sand dune in this desert reach heights of 40 meters (131 feet). Take a look:



Photo: Najeeb Jarrar, Product Marketing Manager, Middle East and North Africa