Google employs a camel to map the Liwa desert in Street View

VIDEO: Google straps a camera to a camel and this is the result…

October 12, 2014

If you fancy going on an adventure in Abu Dhabi's beautiful Liwa Desert, you'd better be prepared for enormous sand dunes, snakes and scorpions, searing heat and almost complete isolation from civilisation... On second thoughts, perhaps that doesn't sound all that appealing after all.

The wonders of the world's largest sand desert are no longer reserved for intrepid explorers, as Google Street View has widened its ever-increasing global mapping system to include the ancient UAE site.

Although this 'street view' can be accessed just like any other through Google Maps, where it's unique is in the way the pictures were captured. Rather than by using a camera mounted to a vehicle, as is standard procedure for Street View, for the UAE desert Google enlisted the help of a camel named Raffia.

The 10-year-old female is the very first animal to help with Google's mapping missions, and as you'd expect for a camel who's used to the long, hard slog of the desert, she had no problem in navigating the dunes with the company's Trekker cameras fitted onto her back. 

The Liwa Desert joins Dubai's Burj Khalifa and Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as the only places in the UAE to be featured on Street View.

Elswhere in the Middle East, the National Museum of Iraq as well as Qatar's Museum of Islamic Art are among the landmarks to be captured.

Details: visit