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Like Google Street View? Create one yourself with a loaner 'Trekker' pack

The Trekker camera backpack at work.Google

Google has been making much of its Street View feature coming to remote and inaccessible places like Antarctica and trails in national parks. But if you think a local feature needs the walk-through Google treatment, the company might be convinced to let you use its equipment to capture it yourself.

Google is kicking off a pilot program in which it plans to lend the "Trekker" backpack-mounted camera system to individuals and organizations who think they have something to add to the map.

It can't just be any old place, of course; Google is looking for things on the order of lush rainforests and majestic canyons. That said, there are still more of those locations than the company can look at with its own teams, so it's outsourcing the task to nature-minded people who wouldn't mind carrying a heavy pack for a few miles.

If you're interested, you just have to fill out this form explaining the place you want to catalog, whether you need special equipment or permissions, when you'd like to do it, and so on. There aren't many details beyond that, but you can expect Google to contact you if you have something that really should be documented.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is