Google Street View is awesome. They’ll be even more awesome when they decide to document the surroundings in your middle of nowhere town. Which, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be in the cards within the immediate future. Screw Google and do it yourself with the DIY Street View Kit.
Designed for simple operation, it’s easy to assemble and easy to set up, so you don’t need a team of engineers to get your own Street View campaign going. Just decide how you want to do the recording (by car, by foot, by bike or whatever), assemble the corresponding mounts and get on your way.
The DIY Street View Kit contains an elevated camera system housed inside a crush-proof, dust-proof and waterproof enclosure. Armed with six sensors strategically set to capture 90% of the world around it, the system creates a single 30-megapixel panoramic image that’s automatically leveled, stitched and geo-tagged by an included mini-computer running Ubuntu Linux. No special mounts are included with the basic kit (they’re sold separately), but it does come with a table stand, a battery/charger set and a few SD cards for storage. A separate car mount is available if you want to set up the camera on your vehicle, as well as a carrier backpack if you’d rather document the streets while riding your Lean Mean Green Machine.
Unfortunately, you can’t upload your own captures to Google’s servers for inclusion in their Street View database, but you can set up a website specifically for showing it. Each set includes a web-based server software for allowing users to see the content stored on your database a la Google Street View.
No pricing is listed for the DIY Street View Kit, but you can request a price quote by filling up a form on their website.