Google Trekker is derived from Google's Street View trucks. It's a backpack with 360-degree vision, introduced in 2012, and has been used at various places including the Taj Mahal and the Galapagos Islands.
The Nature Conservancy is using the Trekker at the ranch for a different purpose — to monitor how the population of blue oak trees changes over the coming years. Blue oaks protect soil from erosion and landslides. Oak woodlands provide homes for 330 species — birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians — in California. Acorns, for instance, are abundant food for many animals. Only two-thirds of California’s oak woodlands remain, most of them under private management.
The Nature Conservancy plans to use the Trekker to make detailed digital images of Kammerer Ranch every five years for the indefinite future. Other species captured in the shots may benefit from this monitoring as well.