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There was much controversy when Google launched Street View in 2007 as many complained that it was a breach of privacy to have images of them available for all to see on the internet. Since then we've all become used to being able to get up close and personal with addresses before we've even set foot in a town. Now, Google have gone one step further and are bringing us intimate pictures of some of the most remote places on the planet. Recently the online giant sent a team of Street View staff to record images from the Galapagos Islands.

The Galapagos Islands are located off the coast of Ecuador in South America and are most noted for being the inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The volcanic islands are very remote and very few people have experienced the landscape in reality. Now though, with Street View, those interested to explore can do so with the click of a mouse.

The Google team visited the islands for a ten day mission, carrying advanced camera equipment. Equipment mounted on backpacks contains 15 cameras each and enable the wearer to create panoramic images. They didn't limit their records to land either. A specialist team were also able to generate underwater images too. Among the animals caught on camera on land, sea and air were blue footed boobies, giant tortoises and hammerhead sharks.

The extensive material gathered by the Google team is being mined by scientists and experts to discover other species. They also plan to scan images as they are updated to monitor the impact of tourism and climate change in the area.

Given its prominence in the theory of evolution, life on the Galapagos Islands is studied all over the world but in the most part this is with the use of books and natural history DVDs. Now though, it is expected that classrooms everywhere will be able to explore remote areas virtually.

The imagery taken from the Galapagos Islands will be worked on and refined and it is expected that they will be available online to the public later on this year. Earlier this year Google issued images from the depths of the Grand Canyon. The company also famously revealed images of North Korean gulags. From a starting place of presenting internet users with urban views, the company has continued to open up the remotest spots on earth for those with a computer and internet connection.

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