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Detroit Zoo wins Google Street View Trike contest

At the Detroit Zoo a polar bear swims above the crowd at the Arctic Ring of Life exhibit.
At the Detroit Zoo a polar bear swims above the crowd at the Arctic Ring of Life exhibit.
wiki user MJCdetroit under GFDL

The Google Trike will soon be documenting the Detroit Zoo after an online vote showed it to be the theme park or zoo that people most wanted available in Google's Street View. Street View is a feature of Google Maps that allows users to view panoramic, interactive street-level imagery of cities and attractions around the world.

To achieve the required mapping and photography in such pedestrian-oriented areas, Google has come up with a non-invasive method for collecting information. The Trike is a three-wheeled bicycle equipped with a horizontal and vertical panoramic digital camera and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system. The Trike is powered by the rider who pedals it around areas that are inaccessible to, or inappropriate for, larger motorized automobiles.

“We thank everyone who voted for the Detroit Zoo,” said Executive Director Ron Kagan. “Bringing the Zoo into Street View will make it easier for our guests to plan and enjoy their visit to this 125-acre zoo, sanctuary and park. From parents taking their children on a virtual tour of our habitats and attractions to people around the world, everyone will be able to see this wonderful home to thousands of animals."

The Google Street View Trike will collect digital images throughout the Detroit Zoo, including its most popular and unique attractions. When it opened in 1928, the Detroit Zoo featured the first cage-less exhibits in America and continues the tradition of ever more immersive experiences today. The Arctic Ring of Life’s clear underwater passage surrounds visitors with swimming polar bears and seals. The walk-through at the Australian Outback Adventure lets the visitor walk freely among kangaroos and wallabies.

The Detroit Zoo is open 362 days a year (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day). It's located at 8450 West 10 Mile Rd. in Royal Oak on the northwest corner of the intersection of Woodward Avenue and 10 Mile Rd. (I-696).

For more information about the Detroit Zoo call 248.398.0900 or visit

Need driving directions? You can get anywhere with Google Maps. Also see map at end of page.

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  • Patty Davis 5 years ago

    I use Google Maps and Google Street View. I had wondered why most of Detroit wasn't viewable in street view. Now I know. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ed Cardona 5 years ago

    Well, that gives me a clue how to use Google. Thanks.

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