Tag Archives: Street View

Exploring Jerusalem’s Old City streets with Street View

Every year, 3.5 million people come to Israel to visit ancient sites that are holy to billions of people, to walk among the unique stone of Jerusalem, or to relax on the beaches of the Mediterranean.

To help you explore Israel’s history and present, we’ve launched imagery of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Haifa on Street View. You can explore the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City and each of its four quarters, walk along the Via Dolorosa and see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, visit the Western Wall and the Mount of Olives. You can stop by the Biblical Zoo, then visit the Israel Museum and the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum—and explore more with the Art Project and the Yad Vashem photo archive. Or you can stroll through Tel Aviv’s bohemian Neve Tzedek neighborhood and the ancient port of Jaffa, and take a virtual trip to some of Tel Aviv’s scenic beaches or to Haifa’s Baha’i Gardens.

We hope you’ll use Street View to discover, explore and more. Some are already using the new imagery to help others—for example, Access Israel, an organization working to make Israel more accessible for people with disabilities, has embedded Street View in its accessibility mapping project of Israeli cities (note: in Hebrew).

We’ll be adding more Street View coverage of sites and streets in the coming months, and are hoping to bring Street View to more places around the region soon.

Going global in search of great art

South African rock designs. Brazilian street graffiti. Australian aboriginal art. Today we’re announcing a major expansion of the Google Art Project. From now on, with a few simple clicks of a finger, art lovers around the world will be able to discover not just paintings, but also sculpture, street art and photographs from 151 museums in 40 countries.

Since we introduced the Art Project last year, curators, artists and viewers from all over the globe have offered exciting ideas about how to enhance the experience of collecting, sharing and discovering art. Institutions worldwide asked to join the project, urging us to increase the diversity of artworks displayed. We listened.

The original Art Project counted 17 museums in nine countries and 1,000 images, almost all paintings from Western masters. Today, the Art Project includes more than 30,000 high-resolution artworks, with Street View images for 46 museums, with more on the way. In other words, the Art Project is no longer just about the Indian student wanting to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is now also about the American student wanting to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi.

The expanded Art Project embraces all sizes of institutions, specializing in art or in other types of culture. For example, you can take a look at the White House in Washington, D.C., explore the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, and continue the journey to the Santiniketan Triptych in the halls of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi. In the United States alone, some 29 partners in 16 cities are participating, ranging from excellent regional museums like the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina to top notch university galleries such as the SCAD museum of art in Savannah, Georgia.

Here are a few other new things in the expanded Art Project that you might enjoy:

  • Using completely new tools, called Explore and Discover, you can find artworks by period, artist or type of artwork, displaying works from different museums around the world.
  • Google+ and Hangouts are integrated on the site, enabling you to create even more engaging personal galleries.
  • Street View images are now displayed in finer quality. A specially designed Street View “trolley” took 360-degree images of the interior of selected galleries which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of more than 385 rooms within the museums. You can also explore the gallery interiors directly from within Street View in Google Maps.
  • We now have 46 artworks available with our “gigapixel” photo capturing technology, photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution so you can study details of the brushwork and patina that would be impossible to see with the naked eye.
  • An enhanced My Gallery feature lets you select any of the 30,000 artworks—along with your favorite details—to build your own personalized gallery. You can add comments to each painting and share the whole collection with friends and family. (It’s an ideal tool for students.)

The Art Project is part of our efforts to bringing culture online and making it accessible the widest possible audience. Under the auspices of the Google Cultural Institute, we’re presenting high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, digitizing the archives of famous figures such as Nelson Mandela, and creating 3D models of 18th century French cities.

For more information and future developments, follow the Art Project on Google+. Together with the fantastic input from our partners from around the world, we’re delighted to have created a convenient, fun way to interact with art—a platform that we hope appeals to students, aspiring artists and connoisseurs alike.

Take a train through the Swiss Alps with Street View

For the first time, you can ride a train on Street View. Through a partnership with UNESCO and Rhaetian Railways, we captured 75.8 miles/122 km of the famous UNESCO World Heritage Albula/Bernina railway line with Street View cameras. Starting today, in addition to accessing the imagery from directly within Google Maps, you can also find the collection in our new gallery.

Like our trip to the Amazon, this Swiss mountain journey also began last year, when we attached the Street View trike to the wagon of a Rhaetian Railway train. From the very front of the train, the trike took 360-degree images along the expansive track.

You can watch the video of how we did it here, and for more Street View collections around the world, visit our updated Street View gallery.

Enjoy the ride!

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)

Visit the Amazon on World Forest Day with Street View

Last August, a few members of our Brazil and U.S. Street View and Google Earth Outreach teams were invited to the Amazon Basin to collect ground-level images of the rivers, forest and communities in the Rio Negro Reserve. Today, on World Forest Day, we’re making those images available through the Street View feature on Google Maps. Now anyone can experience the beauty and diversity of the Amazon.

Tributary of the Rio Negro – View Larger Map

Take a virtual boat ride down the main section of the Rio Negro, and float up into the smaller tributaries where the forest is flooded. Stroll along the paths of Tumbira, the largest community in the Reserve, or visit some of the other communities who invited us to share their lives and cultures. Enjoy a hike along an Amazon forest trail and see where Brazil nuts are harvested. You can even see a forest critter if you look hard enough!

Amazon Rainforest – View Larger Map

This project was made possible in partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), the local nonprofit conservation organization that invited us to the area. We used the Street View trike and a tripod camera with a fisheye lens—typically used to capture imagery of business interiors—to capture both the natural landscape and the local communities. In all, more than 50,000 still photos were stitched together to create these immersive, 360-degree panoramic views:

Many areas of the Amazon, including Rio Negro Reserve, are under the protection of the Brazilian government with restricted access to the public, so we hope that this Street View collection provides access to this special corner of the planet that many of us otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to experience. Together with FAS, we’re thrilled to help everyone from researchers and scientists to armchair explorers around the world learn more about the Amazon, and better understand how local communities there are working to preserve this unique environment for future generations.

To do this directly from maps you can go to Brazil map and drag Pegman to the Rio Negro River

Start exploring this portion of the Amazon and other collections around the world on the updated Street View site and gallery.

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)

Google and Historypin launch online gallery to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

This year marks the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, celebrating Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne. To commemorate this special occasion, we’re teaming up with Historypin to launch an interactive online gallery filled with memories of her time as Queen.

The Pinning The Queen’s History project will be made up of photographic images, videos and audio clips pinned directly onto a Google Map on the dedicated Historypin site. This will let you see historical images in modern context within Google Maps.

Throughout her six decades on the throne, The Queen has undertaken hundreds of visits around the United Kingdom and 261 official overseas visits to 116 different countries. Historypin is inviting people from around the world to submit photos, videos and other memories of The Queen during these visits.

Using Google Maps and Street View, the Historypin platform enables you to pinpoint the exact location of where the imagery was captured. They’ll be overlaid onto Street View, so you can compare glimpses of the Queen’s 60-year reign with how they look today.

The collection has been boosted by the provision of images from The Queen’s overseas visits taken by press photographers, and by photographs of items from the Buckingham Palace’s Royal Archives. Items from the Royal Archives include the sitar presented to The Queen during her visit to India in 1997, an earthenware vase presented to the Queen by the Prime Minister of Japan and a map showing the air routes around South Australia during the 1954 Commonwealth Tour.

The interactive gallery is an opportunity for anyone to contribute to and celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on one global platform. We’re honoured that Google Maps can form the foundation of this official gallery.

Submit your memories of The Queen at www.historypin.com/DiamondJubilee/.

Street View: your friendly campus tour guide

For many, the start of a new year is also the start of a new semester. Whether you’re a current student trying to familiarize yourself with campus, an applicant assessing your options or an alumnus feeling nostalgic, the Street View feature in Google Maps can be your tour guide without the backward walking. We recently added imagery of more university campuses to the existing special collections already available via Street View through our Partner Program. Let’s take a quick tour of some of the many beautiful campuses around the world.

In Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, you can find Waseda University. Founded in 1882, it is known for producing some of the top Japanese politicians and business leaders in recent history. Check out the statue of Ōkuma Shigenobu, who founded the university.

Halfway around the world, we can visit the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Founded in 1451, this university is one of the oldest in the world, and the fourth oldest in the English speaking world. Take a tour of the magnificent campus starting at the West Quadrangle of the Main Building.

Hop the Atlantic and cross the U.S. to Stanford University, which was founded in 1891 in Palo Alto, Calif. Located near Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, both of our founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, attended Stanford for their graduate studies. Explore the campus starting at the palm-lined main quad with a view of Hoover Tower.

Students, take note: Even though your campus is now available in your browser, you still need to go to class! To view other imagery collections of popular universities around the world see a complete list of the campuses or visit a few more highlights in the Street View gallery.

Experience the tsunami-affected areas of Japan through Street View

Back in July, we announced our initiative to digitally archive the areas of Northeastern Japan affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Today, we’re making good on that promise—after driving more than 44,000 kilometers through the affected regions, 360-degree panoramic imagery of those areas is now available through the Street View feature in Google Maps. The images can also be viewed via a special website called “Build the Memory,” where you can easily compare before and after shots of the towns changed by these events.

A virtual tour via Street View profoundly illustrates how much these natural disasters have transformed these communities. If you start inland and venture out toward the coast, you’ll see the idyllic countryside change dramatically, becoming cluttered with mountains of rubble and debris as you get closer to the ocean. In the cities, buildings that once stood proud are now empty spaces.

In the bottom left corner of each image you’ll also see a month and year that tells you when a particular photograph was taken. When looking at images of the magnificent cities side-by-side with images of the ruins left in their place, this additional context demonstrates how truly life-changing this tragedy has been for those who live there and witnessed the destruction of their homes, neighborhoods and even entire districts. This timestamp feature has been the most requested Street View feature for the last few years, and it is now available on Street View imagery worldwide. Professionals such as historians, architects, city planners and tourism boards—as well as regular users including travelers and home-buyers—can now get a sense of how fresh the online photos are for a locations that interests them.

In the case of the post-tsunami imagery of Japan, we hope this particular digital archiving project will be useful to researchers and scientists who study the effects of natural disasters. We also believe that the imagery is a useful tool for anyone around the world who wants to better understand the extent of the damage. Seeing the street-level imagery of the affected areas puts the plight of these communities into perspective and ensures that the memories of the disaster remain relevant and tangible for future generations.

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)

Street View special collections: ski and snow edition

From the streets to the slopes, Street View in Google Maps recently updated its special collections to include a number of new ski resorts, so you can tour some of the world’s most beautiful ski terrain right from your browser. Whether you’re planning your annual trip to your favorite resort or hunting for an exciting new adventure, Street View can transport you to your desired destination. Tour a few of our favorite ski resorts below.

First stop off the ski lift is the world famous Squaw Valley, in northern California. Squaw Valley has been a ski destination since it hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1960.

Squaw Valley Resort – Going down Gold Coast Face

Following a record setting 519 inches of snowfall last season, Breckenridge Ski Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Take a tour of this famous Colorado destination.

Breckenridge Resort, Looking down Four O’Clock

Last, but surely not least, you can tour Whistler Blackcomb, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. We captured Whistler with our Street View cameras last year and made some recent updates. Located in the Coast Mountain range of British Columbia, Whistler, known for both its scenery and adrenaline-pumping runs, is one of the most famous ski destinations in the world.

Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Peak

All snow view imagery was captured by the Street View snowmobile which made its debut two years ago at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. To get a glimpse of a few more resorts you can go to the gallery or watch the video:

Whether you’re a snowbird, a beach bum, an urban adventurer or something else entirely, there’s something for everyone in our growing set of Street View collections. To see some of our favorite special collections, visit the Street View gallery.

Enjoy the slopes!

(Cross-posted on the LatLong blog)

Take a walk in the park with Street View

Whether you’re planning a trip to a park around the block or around the world, you’ll now find more parks showing up in Street View. Over the past year, the Street View team, equipped with the Street View trike, traveled to 22 different countries to photograph some of the world’s most beautiful and unique parks. Starting today, you can explore the couple hundred new special collections we’ve added by visiting our gallery.

You can now tour High Line, which sits 30 feet in the air, over the bustling streets of New York City. The park sits on an elevated freight train spur that spans 1.5 miles and cuts through the western side of Manhattan. Because of Robert Hammond and Joshua David’s efforts, visitors can experience an innovative park that would have otherwise been a demolished urban structure.

You can tour the park in Street View here:

Across the pond, you can visit Kensington Gardens in London. Once privately owned by Kensington Palace, the majestic arbor skyline and delicate flower beds draw locals and tourists alike. Kensington Gardens is also dotted with famous statues, such as Peter Pan, and home to the idyllic Serpentine Bridge.

Community parks are where we take our evening stroll, play sports on weekends and picnic with friends. Koganei Park in Tokyo, Japan is one such place, especially during the cherry blossom season—a charming park beloved by photographers, joggers and romantics.

You can see more Street View special collections in this gallery or get inspired to travel with this video.

Street View hits the stunning Swiss Alps railways

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog)

From the Amazon to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, Street View technology has put imagery of some of the world’s most interesting and significant sites online for everyone to enjoy. Now, for the first time in Google Maps, we’re hitting the train tracks to capture the majesty of the famous railway lines of the Swiss Alps and the surrounding scenery.

In cooperation with Rhaetian Railway, our Street View team has collected images from one of the world’s most scenic railway routes—the Albula-Bernina line in Switzerland—that will soon be live on Google Maps. The picturesque route through the Swiss Alps is one of most famous in the world, winding its way through wild mountain scenery from Thusis, Switzerland; past the resort town of St. Moritz; to its final stop just over the border in Tirano, Italy.


View Albula-Bernina Line in a larger map

A complex system of tunnels, viaducts and galleries allow the railway line to pass through the narrow valleys and climb almost 2,000 meters in altitude. It’s unique to see technology and architecture like this in a natural landscape, and the route is a popular tourist destination offering amazing photography opportunities.

To capture the stunning scenery for Street View, we mounted our trike—a three-wheel pedicab with a camera system on top—to a flatbed at the front of a train. As the train travelled along the line, cameras facing nine different directions captured still photos of the surrounding areas that we’re now stitching together into 360-degree panoramic views. Soon, we’ll publish the imagery on Google Maps for people around the globe to enjoy and experience themselves. The imagery will provide admirers of this route with completely new perspectives, and also help document and preserve this UNESCO World Heritage site.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos from imagery collection day:

To get the latest on Street View go to maps.google.com/streetview.