"Ever wanted to visit the vast rolling green hills of Swaziland?" wrote Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, the public policy manager for Google South Africa, in an Oct. 24 post on the Google Africa Blog. "Google's Street View will now give you virtual access to this majestic Southern African kingdom."
So far, online viewers can now see images of the terrains of the Mlawula, Malolotja and Simunye Nature Reserves or take a step onto the country's Low Level Bridge, wrote Mgwili-Sibanda. "Users can also embark on an exhilarating adventure amongst the deep crevices of one of the world's oldest mines, the Ngwenya mine, situated near the north-western border of Swaziland."
Google has added a wide variety of other Street View images to its constantly expanding collection in 2013. 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 lives 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.
Google's Street View image collection has been growing regularly since its debut in 2007.
In March, Street View added spectacular images of the world's tallest mountain peaks, including Everest and Kilimanjaro, to its ever-expanding collection of photos from destinations around the globe.
Also in March, a Street View crew collected and released a collection of haunting images of the Japanese town of Namie-machi. The photos were taken to document the evacuated town two years after radiation leaked from a nearby nuclear power plant following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.