Google Maps Lets Viewers Explore Everest, Kilimanjaro, Other Peaks
Sara Pelosi, Google's people programs manager and a member of the photo expedition team that went out to capture all of the amazing photographs, put together a detailed travelogue about their work in a March 18 on the Google Lat Long Blog. "I was lucky to be part of the team that traveled around the world to capture the imagery and experience the mountains firsthand," wrote Pelosi. "I've always had a sense of adventure. In 2011, when my colleague asked if I wanted to go on a trip to Everest Base Camp, I couldn't resist, and we recruited a group of Googlers and fellow explorers to join us." The trip was an adventure, she wrote, including 12 days at Mount Everest in Nepal, where the team battled altitude sickness, an earthquake, mud slides, snowstorms and flash floods on their way to reaching an altitude of 18,192 feet, which is higher than anywhere in the contiguous United States. The team hiked more than 70 miles over some 50 hours on that trip, she wrote in her diary of the expedition. The team didn't hike to the summit of Everest, which sits at 29,029 feet. "We're honored to share this amazing imagery with you on Google Maps and show the world what life is like from its highest peaks," wrote Pelosi in her post.Street View has also gathered images of the Grand Canyon and its trails and natural wonders using a special wearable backpack with a camera system on top, which allowed team members to traverse the Grand Canyon and capture 360-degree images of the terrain. In September 2012, Street View added its first-ever underwater panoramic images, bringing in colorful and beautiful photographs of underwater reefs in Australia, Hawaii and the Philippines. The images came from the Catlin Seaview Survey, which is conducting scientific expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea in Australia. Another Street View team is presently at work in Japan, taking stark photographs of a city about 12 miles from the heavily damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, which spread its radiation across a wide area after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The new mountain peaks imagery is part of the ever-expanding Street View collection. Last November, Google added photographs of some of the world's most spectacular ski resorts, while in August images were posted from Cambridge Bay in Canada's far north.