Make your own Google Street View camera system cheap!

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by Mike
Posted September 30th, 2009 at 11:29 am

street-view-creation

If you’ve seen any one of the many pictures floating around the interwebs that shows Google’s “chase vehicle” with the infamous Street View camera system mounted above and ever imagined owning your own, you were usually quickly shot down by your own mind as Google would never lend/sell you one. So, being the geek that Roy D. Ragsdale is decided to take matters into his own hands and build his very own Google Street view device. And knock the ball out of the park he did. For only $300, Roy constructed himself a Google Street View-esque system that while not as polished physically, functions perfectly. According to Roy:

Construction was straightforward. On a flat octagonal heavy-cardboard base, I glued small posts for the cameras’ clips to latch onto. I aligned each unit and then placed the USB hubs and the GPS receiver in the middle. I secured the cables with Velcro and sandwiched everything with another piece of cardboard. The whole thing’s the size of a small pizza box, weighing less than 1 kilogram. Excluding the notebook (a 2-gigahertz machine with 512 megabytes of RAM running Ubuntu Linux), the hardware cost about $300.

Perhaps the coolest part isn’t the fact that this guy built his own Street View equipment but instead has plans to refine it further. Subtle modifications such as removing the cases around the cameras and ditching the notebook which powers and organizes the whole digital get together by replacing it with a simple circuit board. Such measures will result in a system small enough to mount on something even as small as a hat Roy claims. Now that is cool! If you want to find out the dirty details and all the needed parts to make his system work, hit up the IEEE link below.

Start planning your own Street View creations in 3..2..

Wired > IEEE Spectrum

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