ELLERBE — One of Google’s mapping cars recently roamed Richmond County, capturing street-by-street pictures that the Internet search engine will use to help visitors and locals alike find their way around.
Daily Journal reader Stephanie Barnes shared a June 10 picture of the Google car at an Ellerbe gas station. Reader Coleman Berry also snapped a photo of the car in Ellerbe, where it’s seen cruising past Carroll’s Pantry.
The photos followed a report from the Richmond County Daily Journal’s sister newspaper, The Cheraw Chronicle, about a Google car making the rounds Tuesday in Cheraw, South Carolina. The Daily Journal shared the image on its Facebook page and asked readers if the car had been spotted here.
”It’s about time they updated Google Maps for Rockingham,” reader Aaron Ralston wrote on the page.
Google’s online maps show a snapshot of local life on the day the pictures were taken. Jeffrey Skipper sees a familiar sight when he goes online to see the Street View maps.
“They were in Rockingham two years ago,” he said on Facebook. “I know ‘cause my new truck is in the pic.”
Google Street View cars are equipped with a roof-mounted camera that captures 360-degree panoramic images of roads and streets synchronized with a GPS satelite. Images are stitched together to create photographic maps of cities, towns and rural areas throughout the world for Google Maps.
The Mountain View, California-based Internet company has a fleet of Google Maps cars that crisscross the globe to record the images, according to the Google Street View website. The project launched in 2007 with a single SUV loaded down with cameras mapping the United States and has since expanded to all seven continents.
Google’s visit to Richmond County came last month, and the mapping car is now elsewhere in the Tar Heel State. A Street View tracker on Google’s website showed Friday that Chowan, Wake and Durham counties were being mapped.
Residents who venture south of the state line may still pass one of the distinctive camera-mounted cars. Google Street View was mapping Chesterfield, Darlington, Greenville, Lee, Marlboro, Spartanburg and Sumter counties in South Carolina as of Friday.
Readers who follow the Daily Journal on Facebook learned about the Google car’s local presence first. The newspaper has more than 3,700 followers and shares stories, photos and breaking news updates each day.
To join the community conversation in Richmond County, log on to Facebook, search for “The Richmond County Daily Journal” page and click “like.” Updates from the newspaper will immediately begin appearing in users’ Facebook news feed.
Reach Editor Corey Friedman at 910-817-2670.