Tiny cameras help Google Street view capture largest model railw - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tiny cameras help Google Street view capture largest model railway

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(NBC News) - Google Street View has been used to explore jungles, coral reefs and countless cities. Now it's providing a glimpse of something much more adorable: Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland.

With 8,078 miles of track, it's the largest model railway on the planet. It even has 200,000 tiny plastic residents.

How does one map such a Wunderland? With little cameras, which Google designed in collaboration with German tech company Ubilabs. They worked together to find a way to capture crisp images of items built at 1:87 scale.

"Not only did the cameras have to be just as small as the models themselves, but the distances for the automated shots had to be just right, down to the millimeter," wrote Ubilabs on its website.

It took them two months to find the right technique, resulting in around 10,000 images that were edited down to 2,500. The project is now live on Google Street View.

The technology allows users to tour "real places designed with an eye for accuracy," according to Google, including "a rowdy Oktoberfest celebration," ski slopes in Austria and some U.S. locations, such as the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

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