Google Street View is adding a wealth of new information to the most spectacular image collections in its Street View galleries to give online visitors even more to explore and learn as they peruse the images from remote and fantastic locations.
The new facts, notes, details and behind-the-scenes stories are being added by Google to its recently unveiled Views gallery, which highlights some of the most popular Street View image collections, according to an Aug. 13 post by Deanna Yick, the Street View program manager, in a post on the Google Lat Long Blog. “Starting today, to complement the beautiful panoramas you see there, we’re also adding useful information about some of the featured locations, and behind-the-scenes stories about what collecting imagery of these places was like,” wrote Yick.
The added details include the innermost facts and figures about the Views gallery subjects, from the weight of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai (the building’s concrete is equivalent in weight to 100,000 elephants), which is the tallest building in the world at 160 stories, to a guided walking tour in the Canadian Arctic, where viewers can hear the sounds of the crunching snow, far from their homes.
“From the Street View Special Collections page where you can browse imagery that transports you from the top of Mount Fuji to the top of the Eiffel Tower, simply click on the ‘Go Behind the Views’ icon to access this additional content,” wrote Yick. “The photography, video, audio tours and more provide a deeper understanding and appreciation for some of the most remarkable places on Earth.”
The first two multimedia adventures in the Views collection enable online visitors to experience the Canadian Arctic in Iqaluit, Canada, and the Burj Khalifa, she wrote, with more such details to come. “As we trek around collecting more imagery of interesting places across the globe, we’ll continue to add more content to these sections of the Views site,” wrote Yick. “So come back often to check them out, get behind-the-scenes insight into how Street View imagery is collected, and learn fun facts and details about these select locations.”
The Views gallery was launched in July 2013 as a place where online visitors could add their own gorgeous photos to the amazing maps that are constantly being created with Google Maps. Contributors can submit images by contributing photo spheres (360-degree panoramas that can be created with Android phones) to Google Maps and having them reviewed. The images created with photo spheres can be spectacular, from incredible landscapes to lovely urban images filled with detail, color and clarity. Photo spheres are captured by Android devices through a series of multiple photos that can automatically be turned into a seamless 360-degree experience, according to Google.
The new Views page also incorporates the Street View Gallery, where visitors can also view the incredible panoramas of other Google Street View collections.
Google is always busy expanding its 6-year-old Street View collection of images from the world’s most amazing places. Also 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.
Google Taking Viewers Deeper Into Street View Explorations
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. This is 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.