Riding along Memorial Drive in Cambridge, MA, today, in a bit of a rush, and saw a bicycle pulled over near the BU bridge with a trailer attached (or maybe it was a trike...) with an 18-24 inch square black box on it, with a large tripod-y thing with the 6 to 8 camera heads on it that they use to take the Google Streetview pics. The black box had large Google logos on it.
Googling around now, I see there's been no mention of such a contraption anywhere online. I really regret not taking the 30 seconds it would have taken to stop and get a picture of the setup.
Maybe someone else has seen it out and about?
Just thinking about it now, and the bike was pulled over on the side of the Charles River Path... I wonder if they're going to Streetview cycle paths, and add Streetview images of said bike paths?
Streetview is great for cycling on streets you're not familiar with. You can judge how wide the lanes are, if there's a bike lane or shoulder, and how safe a neighborhood is. It sometimes gives you a better angle and more information than the satellite view.
I use streetview in my work. Part of my job is to electronically map my city's storm and sewer pipes. Sometimes are records are spotty and I want to confirm the location or existence of a manhole or an inlet. Saves a lot of time sometimes when otherwise you'd have to go out and do a field investigation.