I've seen a couple friends on Facebook and Twitter saying they have see a car rigged up with some weird cameras. It is the Google Maps Street View car and it is currently taking photos in Benton, Kittitas and Yakima counties.

Google launched Street View in five U.S. cities back in May of 2007 and it has expanded to now include locations on all seven continents.

Beginning with an SUV, then moving to a van setup, Google has now scaled the project to a fleet of cars, trikes, trolleys, and even snowmobiles to capture images throughout the entire world. With just one small computer per vehicle, the camera system has been refined to capture higher-resolution panoramic views of city streets and surrounding buildings.

The latest and current Google Street View car and camera setup has 15 lenses taking 360 degrees of photos. It also has motion sensors to track its position, a hard drive to store data, a small computer running the system, and lasers to capture 3D data to determine distances within the Street View imagery.

Pretty cool, right? Have you seen the Google Street View car around town?