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Apple Mapping Car Being Spotted Around the Big Island

This afternoon as I was driving in Hilo, I noticed a weird car drive by me with all these cameras on top of it.  At first I thought it was the Google Car that I had seen a few years ago on Bayfront but learned it wasn’t.
I was driving down the Mohouli extension road and the car turned on to Loko Place.  Knowing that Loko Place was a dead end street that was just recently built… I flipped a U-Turn and pulled over on the side of Loko Place and positioned myself to take a picture of the car.
It turned out it was an “Apple” car that was doing mapping for it’s “Maps” application http://maps.apple.com.

Apple Maps states:

Offering an all-new design and a host of innovative features, Maps makes finding and getting to your destination faster and easier than ever. With turn-by-turn spoken directions, interactive 3D views, proactive suggestions, and the ability to use third-party apps right inside Maps, there’s so much to explore.

Maps now predicts the places you’re most likely to go and suggests the fastest way to get there based on traffic, your current location, the time of day, and events on your schedule. So in the morning, Maps can provide a proactive suggestion for the best route to work that avoids traffic. And any upcoming meetings on your calendar are presented with suggested routes. Simply tap the suggestion to display the directions and start navigation.

It looks as though they are trying to compete with Google for customers.  The last time that I can recall the Google car being on the Island was in 2011 but I could be wrong.

The Google car in Wailoa Park

The Google Car works in connection with the Google Bike as the bike can take folks on even narrower roads and trails where the car can’t go.

Google Street View Images Catches Me… But I Caught Them First

I mentioned earlier today how Google had expanded it’s street view here in Hawaii.

Well in November of 2011, I wrote about how I ran into the Google Car and the Google Trike at Waiola Park,  and it turns out they were recording me while I was following them around!

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=Waiola+Park+Hilo+hawaii&aq=&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=34.313287,86.572266&t=h&ie=UTF8&hq=Waiola+Park&hnear=Hilo,+Hawaii&ll=19.726039,-155.08836&spn=0.008841,0.006295&layer=c&cbll=19.720186,-155.077742&panoid=M7W0_CScwknNgi5JvbV6Vg&cbp=12,357.95,,1,-4.65&output=svembed&w=425&h=350]

I’m the white car in the picture above and you can play around with the map to see me stalking them!  Here is the car and the trike that I saw in Wailoa Park that day.

Wanna Street View Race?

I knew at the time that the guy had to turn around at some point so I got out of my car and filmed this video of the guy:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/gFcVqc30tUg]

Google Street View – The Bike and The Car on the Big Island

I was driving down near the Hilo soccer fields today when I noticed the Google Street View Car pull into Wailoa State Park by the King Kamehameha Statue.

The Google Street View Car inside Wailoa State Park

I knew the car was on the island, but this was my first opportunity to trap it at a dead end and get a good picture of it before it moved away from me!

I was surprised when the car slowed down and then I noticed this huge “GOOGLE BIKE” with all these cameras attached to it!

The Google Street View Bike inside Wailoa State Park

I didn’t even know that Google used an actual man powered bike for this street view system.  Can you imagine what an awesome job that would be!  Literally riding your bike around the world and getting paid big bucks to do it!

the bike and the car met up and talked for a few minutes.  It didn’t seem like they wanted to talk to me too much even though I identified myself as a local blogger who uses street view quite a bit.  They did tell me that they were going to be on the island until at least the end of the year.

Wanna Street View Race?

I knew that they were at a dead end and would eventually have to turn around and come back out so I staked out my position and then caught this short video of the biker leaving the park:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/gFcVqc30tUg]

Ack… Why Didn’t I Pull a U-Turn?

Dang nabbit… I saw the Google car yesterday, and I have been wanting to talk to the driver ever since I found out the “Google Street View Car” was on the Big Island.

I was driving up Highway 11 and I saw it coming into town… had I not been going 55 MPH and not late for where I was going… I would have trailed that buggah.

I’m telling you now… before this Google Car leaves the Big Island… I will do my best to try and get a picture of it here!

Damon Tucker = Google Car Stalker… LOL