VAIL, Colorado - Google is in the Vail Valley, and they are taking lots of pictures.
A crew from the company is capturing images of the Vail and Beaver Creek mountains for its Google Maps' Street View with its own snowmobile mounted with a special camera.
Street View provides 360-degree views of streets across the nation and world to help people get directions or simply explore new places. Street View started with, naturally, streets but has expanded to other thoroughfares such as walking trails and bike routes.
Shortly before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February, Google decided to branch out to ski resorts, using a snowmobile to capture images of Whistler ski area.
They are continuing that trend. They contacted Vail Resorts, which agreed to have its resorts participate. Vail and Beaver Creek are the first American ski resorts to be included in Street View. Three or four people from Google were in town this week for the project, said Elaine Filadelfo, spokeswoman for Google Maps.
Google will also be mapping Vail Resorts' other mountains - Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly, company spokeswoman Jen Brown said.
Google also brought a special tricycle, which looks a bit like a pedicap, to capture images of Vail and Beaver Creek villages' pedestrian streets. The trike and the snowmobile are mounted with cameras and also have GPS systems, Filadelfo said.
Look for the Vail and Beaver Creek photos to be up and running in a few months, she said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.