Meet the Guy Responsible for (Most of) Google Street View's Stunning Thailand Imagery
This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.
There's a chance you've seen someone from the Google Street View force—those bulky, camera-equipped backpacks are hard to miss. A couple of months back, headlines were forming around a Street Viewer who was spotted at Disney World. The truth of the matter is for as many amazing places that can be explored from Google Maps (Machu Picchu! A safari in Kenya! The ocean!), not every spot is accessible by foot. Such is the case for Thailand's stunning countryside. But there's one person we can thank for a majority of the Thailand tour.
Panupong Luangsa-ard is a Thai triathlete who traveled more than 310,000 miles through the country's hills, forests, fields, and temples—about 310 miles of which he walked. In an interview with Mashable, a Google rep shared that Luangsa-ard "burned through four pairs of shoes" just while collecting imagery from the tea plantations and strawberry fields. This entire journey took about two years to complete— the camera requires clear skies to capture a clear image, meaning cloudy or rainy days were automatic days off. One thing's for sure: All of us virtual travelers salute you, Luangsa-ard.