Google has announced an incredible milestone for one of its most popular products. Thanks to the tireless work of its drivers and trekkers, Google Maps’s Street View feature now comprises over 10 million miles of images: a “distance that could circle the globe more than 400 times.” Google Earth has also topped 36 million square miles of high-def satellite images, which covers more than 98% of the world’s population.
Gathering imagery is no small task. It can take anywhere from days to weeks, and requires a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible. These cameras are athermal, meaning that they’re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments—- from Death Valley during the peak of the summer to the snowy mountains of Nepal in the winter.