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Google Maps an Oasis in the Desert From the Back of a Camel

The desert is not the best place for a Street View car

smithsonian.com

Google Street View can take you a lot of places, including, now, the Liwa Oasis, a slightly-more-green-than-usual stretch of sand dunes and dust along the northern extent of the Rub' al Khali desert.

The Rub' al Khali desert around the Liwa Oasis—alternatively known as the “Empty Quarter”—is, as you can probably imagine, not the most hospitable place to take a car. To map the oasis and the surrounding desert using their Street View cameras, Google turned to a different mode of transport: a camel. In the video above from Google, you can see the dromedary rig.

Centered roughly 60 miles south of the Gulf Coast in the United Arab Emirates, the Liwa Oasis is the historical home of the Al-Nahyan family, the current rulers of Abu Dhabi. As in the past, one of the region's major industries is date farming—date palms can be seen dotting the southwestern part of the region.

About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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