Google Street View Adds Venice and Its Lovely Canals and Sites

The amazing sites of Venice, Italy, are now visible to virtual visitors using Google Street View.

Venice, Italy, the city of canals, water and beautiful and historic architecture, is now spotlighted through the gorgeous color photography of Google Maps' Street View project for online visitors around the world.

The images throughout Venice were captured by a team of Google workers using the company's special Trekker backpack cameras, which collect many individual images of subjects that are then assembled into 360-degree images. The Venice images covered about 265 miles on foot and about 114 miles by boat, wrote Daniele Rizzetto, the Street View operations manager, in a Nov. 14 post on the Google-Lat Long Blog.

"Venice was once described as 'undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man,' and from these pictures it's hard to disagree," wrote Rizzetto. "You can now explore panoramic imagery of one of the most romantic spots in the world, captured with our Street View Trekker technology."

Because of the city's myriad and picturesque canals and narrow walkways, the Street View team couldn't use a traditional motorized vehicle or a pedal-powered trike to capture the images in Venice, wrote Rizzetto. Instead, they had to walk the streets and float in the city's famous gondolas to capture their images.

Among the destinations captured in the imagery are the beautiful Piazza San Marco, where visitors can see Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Cathedral, the bell tower, the Marciana National Library and a famous clock tower; the Synagogue of the first Jewish Ghetto; and Devil's Bridge at Torcello island, she wrote. "Unfortunately, Street View can't serve you a cicchetto (local appetizer) in a classic bacaro (a typical Venetian bar), though we can show you how to get there."

The Street View team even put together a behind-the-scenes look showing how they captured the Street View imagery in Venice, despite the complications of the canals and narrow walkways, she wrote. "The Floating City is steeped in culture. It's easy to see why it's retained a unique fascination and romance for artists, filmmakers, musicians, playwrights and pilgrims through the centuries—and now, we hope, for Street View tourists too."

Google's Street View program is always growing. In October, Street View cameras began capturing the emotional power of thousands of military graves at Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the first-ever Street View images from Africa's Swaziland. The Arlington project is being conducted by Google photographers who are walking through the honored cemetery area by area, equipped with one of the special panoramic Google Trekker cameras mounted on a backpack. The project is slated for completion by May 2014, just before Arlington National Cemetery will commemorate its 150th anniversary. Literally millions of photographs are being collected.

The images being captured in the African nation of Swaziland will illustrate the fourth African nation to be featured in Street View, according to Google.

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.