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Google street view camera trike sighted in Portland this week

Posted by on September 8th, 2009 at 10:46 am

The Google Trike snaps images
for their StreetView feature.
(Photo: Google)

It looks like Google Streetview will soon be coming to a bike path near you.

We first reported back in June on the buzz about Google’s new mapping tricycles — intended to capture streetview footage of roads where cars can’t go.

Since then, we’ve been wondering when the trikes will start showing up on Portland streets. Last week, we heard the first rumor, via Twitter, of a street view trike appearance on the Springwater Corridor near SE 112th.

Yesterday, reader Marc Schuette got in touch about another sighting, and included a video clip of the trike in action. Check it out after the jump.

Story continues below


Schuette wrote:

“I was biking out near Airport Way on [the I-205 bike path] a couple of hours ago and came across the Google Maps Bike. He was riding the ramps up and down from Airport Way to the 205 multi-use path. He’s part of a team from San Diego that trucks the bike(s) around and rides/maps. The setup weighs 300 lbs and he rode 20 miles yesterday.”

Here’s the quick video he took:

– Also check out our in-depth story last month about the emergence of online bike route planning systems, including rumors of Google involvement.

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  • michael downes September 8, 2009 at 10:49 am


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  • Aaron September 8, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I went on google maps to see if street view was available on the springwater or 205 paths, not yet but hopefully soon

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  • chris September 8, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Does anybody else think that this is creepy?

    (side note – somebody get these guys clipless pedals)

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  • Todd Bouanger September 8, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I wonder if they will try crossing the Interstate Bridge? A regular trailer or bakfiets can make it across.

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  • Ed Manning September 8, 2009 at 11:44 am

    On my ride home on Friday this google trike was on the Steel Bridge crossing from the East Side to the West Side. It was a bit of a tight fit but it worked. It seems to have some electrical motor that helps assit the drive from pedaling…Ed

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  • Bob_M September 8, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I saw him on Friday under the Marquam Bridge. Yes it is creepy. Google street view have been drummed out of several towns, and are under an injunction in Switzerland for violation of privacy rights.

    Just cause they use a bike, does not mean I want them taking photos of my property.

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  • Paul September 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I saw him Friday as well; he was heading northbound between OMSI and the Hawthorne Bridge. At a distance, it looked like a loud-speaker setup. It was only when I was close to crossing his path that I realized the tower held cameras. I figured it was Google, but I didn’t turn around to ask.

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  • ryan September 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    it must be nice to have enough money to do crazy things. (that’s not a criticism)

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  • Anonymous 2 September 8, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    If you don’t want your house on Streetview you can contact Google and request its removal.

    I did it and the request was granted. My house does not show up on Streetview.

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  • Pete September 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    “Does anybody else think that this is creepy?”

    Big Brother is drafting you! Smile for the cameras… like Google are the only folks taking pictures of us…

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  • Shake September 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    If you’re worried about privacy now, it’s a little too late.

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  • John in NHj September 8, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    it normally takes about 6 months for the google data to be compiled edited, eg facial and number recognition bluring, any requests such as sensitive businesses or homes and so forth.

    and I am not so concerned with privacy really, anybody could find who you are and follow you home with little trouble, google maps is not going to make it easier…

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  • peejay September 8, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I find it a little creepy that people find it creepy that, yes, people can see the same thing they’d see if they were walking down your (public) street!

    This is not like the CCTV’s all over Britain, which do raise legitimate privacy issues, because the output of those cameras is used in various secret ways by the police and other authorities for their own nefarious purposes. Google streetview is public, and anyone can use it, just like anyone can walk down the street. I believe such public and free dissemination of information can add to one’s freedoms, not take them away. If you want to fight the loss of privacy, that’s a legitimate and worthy battle, but you’re picking the wrong target.

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  • Marc September 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I have a second video on YouTube from the same sighting. Not much different except you can see the setup from a little different angle(s).


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  • benschon September 9, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Jeez, that looks like hard work. Who says cartography is all about sitting behind a computer?

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  • anonymousbikemessenger September 9, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Pop a wheelie!

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  • tom September 9, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    The Google mapping was on the westside Springwater today around noon just opposite Oaks Bottom

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  • Dottie September 9, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I want that job!

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  • Paul Tay September 10, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Man, if I see da google trike, I might be tempted to lure the driver with a 100 dolla bill into a back alley, make him put his undershorts over his head, and steal bike! Dat’s one hot damn SCHWEEEEEEEEEET ride.

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  • coyote September 10, 2009 at 10:39 am

    It think it is far creepier that some think they can control what can be photographed from a public right of way. It is called free speech and google or who ever has a right to do it.

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  • Anonymous September 11, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I love to do that! great job Google!

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  • Mundano September 23, 2009 at 9:03 am

    You can do it. All cities in U.S.A. Street View:

    U.S.A. Street View

    Best regards,

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