Nightly News   |  October 24, 2012

Google trekker captures Grand Canyon’s beauty

The sandstone and granite views typically only available to those who hike or ride are now being photographed by Google street view, making them accessible to everyone. NBC’s Anne Thompson reports.

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>>> for dedicates, people have talked about and written about what it is like to see the grand canyon for the first time. but soon, even if you're not actually there, you will get a view of one of america's most magnificent places. ann thompson has more.

>> reporter: it is a story nearly two billion years in the making, the grand canyon , made of sand stone and granite, available only to those willing to hike or ride. until this week's invasion of the seemingly alien tracker. product manager wearing the latest evolution of google's different effort, focused on one of america's most popular tourist spots.

>> this is what we had in mind when we developed the trekker, the weight, the issues, we knew if we could take it to the grand canyon , ultimately we could take it anywhere.

>> reporter: here is how it works, the funny looking metal ball holds a disk that records the pictures and locations. four and a half million people visit grand canyon every year, but not everyone walks the trails. now with this new trekker technology you will be able to make this hike from anywhere. the technology is helping this seattle resident make this trek.

>> another one on the bucket list was the great wall of china and i did that. and i googled all of it. i was there before i got there.

>> reporter: exactly google's goal.

>> by creating this experience a click away, we make it available to a whole category of people.

>> reporter: engineers track this on the phone, but the finished product won't be ready for months, the result of shrinking technology. to today's backpack.

>> we're always looking forward to the next thing, technology gets better, everything gets better.

>> reporter: creating the ability to explore without limits, anne thompson , nbc news, grand canyon , arizona.