Google Street View now takes users to National Parks and more

[From eWeek; a 1:09 minute video report is available from Mashable]

Sequoia National Park via Google Street View

[Image: Sequoia National Park via Google Street View]

Google Street View Now Showcasing U.S. and Canadian National Parks

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-11-20

Can’t get to Mount Rushmore to see it up close? Now Google’s Street View images can bring it to you, as well as many other lovely national parks in the U.S. and Canada.

Google’s Street View crews have wandered all across national parks and historical sites in the United States and Canada to now bring many famous vistas and features to the screens of armchair Internet visitors from more than 44 national parks.

The new imagery, which includes Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and spectacular Sequoia trees in California, was unveiled by Evan Rapoport, the product manager for Google Maps, Nov. 20 on the Google Lat Long Blog.

“Working with the U.S. National Park Service and Parks Canada, our Street View cars, trikes and Trekker mapped more than 44 locations with beautiful, 360 degree panoramas,” wrote Rapoport. “Leave your gear behind and still get a chance to marvel at the Sequoias in California. Or perhaps you’re looking for more adventure? Look out to Signal Mountain in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons, climb around California’s Joshua Tree National Park, or dip your toe into Moraine Lake in Banff, Canada.”

Visitors can also now take virtual tours of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park, which was the first national park in the world, wrote Rapoport.

History buffs will enjoy the new Street View images as they present a wide range of intriguing sites across North America. “Brush up presidential facts as you check out the Lincoln Memorial or get a closer look at U.S. presidents at Mount Rushmore. Take a moment to ‘Remember the Alamo‘ as you visit this battlefield in Texas or step inside the Halifax Citadel to investigate the city’s role as a key naval station in the British Empire.”

Online visitors can also peruse images of the Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., through the Street View collection.

“Whether you’re planning your next adventure or just looking to be inspired by the beauty of the world from the comfort of your living room, we invite you to head over to Google Maps and let Pegman be your virtual guide to Street View,” wrote Rapoport. “We hope you enjoy exploring the majestic scenery of North America’s national parks and monuments.”

Google is always adding a wide variety of Street View images to its collection, which debuted in 2007. In October 2013, Google Street View crews began collecting images in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia so they can be presented online in May 2014 in time for the 150th anniversary of the national military cemetery.

Meanwhile, Street View cameras are also under way capturing images of the African nation of Swaziland, which will make it the fourth African nation to be featured in Street View.

In August, Street View released images of some of the world’s most spectacular zoos and wildlife parks so that online viewers can see a wide assortment of wild animals from around the world right on their own computers and mobile devices. Using Street View, online visitors can now see panda bears eating bamboo plants and tumbling around the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, where more than 30 percent of this endangered species live in a conservation and breeding facility. The new Street View images also include other animal parks around the world, including the San Diego Zoo, as well as zoos in Houston, Atlanta and Chicago in North America.

In July, Google Street View cameras captured fun images inside the Harry Potter Studio in London to give viewers an inside tour of the world of the popular book and movie character. The images cover a portion of the inner sanctum of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, where the sets and scenery from the beloved Harry Potter films are on display for visitors in real life, from the inside of The Great Hall to the oft-seen cobblestones of Diagon Alley, where Harry and his friends began their adventures. Now instead of jetting off to London, Harry Potter fans can explore part of that Studio Tour—the infamous Diagon Alley marketplace—using the 360-degree views and full-color imagery provided by Street View for their virtual tour.

In June, Google unveiled the collection’s first-ever photographic contributions taken in the Arab world and from the top of the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The images at Burj Khalifa allow online visitors to get a taste of what it is like to stand on top of the tallest building in the world, according to Google. The images are the first time Google has captured skyscraper images using Street View. In the new images, virtual visitors can experience the view from the highest occupied floor in the world on the building’s 163rd floor, and they can also experience being in the fastest-moving elevators in the world, which operate at 22 mph. Visitors can even see the highest swimming pool in the world on the 76th floor.

Earlier in June, Google added images of 1,000 additional famous locations around the world with new images from Asia, Europe, Latin America, the United States and Canada. The images are being provided to offer more information to viewers as they plan vacations or simply explore the world from their Web browsers, according to Google.


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