Chilean MinerCam: The Technology Behind the Incredible View

Silicon Valley's own supercam goes underground

By Scott Budman
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:28 PM PDT
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Silicon Valley High-Tech Company Tour

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In this screen grab taken from video, Luis Urzua, center, the 33rd and final miner to be rescued from the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile, is seen after his rescue Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. (AP Photo)

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The scene above ground is inspiring: 33 Chilean miners rescued after two months trapped underground.

Below ground, the scene was almost as inspiring: incredible views of what it was like to descend into the mine and what it was actually like to be underground. The camera that gave us those shots comes from a Half Moon Bay-based company that's used to putting their products where the sun don't shine. 

View dramatic images here.

They're called GoPro, and you may have seen their technology on various TV news broadcasts, like during the Gulf Oil Spill, and on TV programs,  including "Deadliest Catch." They're also used for shows on the Science Channel.

GoPro has been building cameras for rugged adventures for about six years now, beginning with a camera to go on surfboards. The founders point out that while extreme sports get the lion's share of the attention for products like those, they also take pride in being behind the scenes on news stories, like the Chilean rescue.

GoPro's founder, Nick Woodman, grew up in Silicon Valley and raised seed money for the company by selling belts made out of shells he got during a surf trip in Indonesia.

From those beginnings, GoPro is now becoming the go-to camera when you absolutely, positively need the shot. They claim to be the world's best-selling wearable action sports camera and judging by the 'oohs' and 'ahhs' during the miner rescue, we'll be seeing a lot more scenes through the GoPro lens.

Scott knew there was a Silicon Valley angle to the rescue. He's on Twitter  @scottbudman

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