Map of highest mountains in the world
- Google Maps' Street View has posted views from four famous peaks across the globe
- Images are from Mount Everest Base Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus and Aconcagua
- Users can explore 360-degree panoramas and trace mountain trails with just a few clicks
Google Maps' Street View is becoming less and less about photographing the road to grandma's house and more about getting you off the road entirely. The tech giant's latest project, unveiled Monday, takes mapping initiatives to new and extreme heights by offering interactive galleries of some of the world's tallest mountains.
The views include four famous peaks from across the globe: the snow-capped Everest Base Camp in Asia's Himalayas, dormant volcano Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in Europe and Aconcagua in Pope Francis' home country of Argentina.
Users can drop into various camps and viewing locations along the mountains to explore 360-degree panoramas and trace the paths of some mountains' trails with just a few clicks.
"It feels like you're walking through the gates of hell because there are mule skeletons sticking out of the ground, " Dan Fredinburg, one of the Google team members who photographed all four peaks, says about his experience at Aconcagua. "It was this out-of-world experience of entering into an environment where not many people go and knowing we were going to bring back that experience for others to see."
Fredinburg is a Google Adventurer. That's not his normal title — he's a technical program manager who works on Google's privacy and security team — but his love of the extreme outdoors led him and his colleagues to start organizing visits to the highest mountains throughout the past year and a half. As they planned, another colleague suggested using their trip as an opportunity to collaborate with the Google Maps team, and their modern-day cartography mission was born.
Google Maps uses a variety of devices besides cars to capture footage from all over the world, including pushcart trolleys, trikes and, on occasion, snowmobiles. Cliffside hiking, however, required a different strategy. The Trekker — the backpack camera apparatus Google used to photograph its Grand Canyon collection, which debuted in February — had yet to be invented when Fredinburg and friends set their sights on some summits.
Scaling the world's highest peaks is also an equipment-heavy undertaking, which means lugging around backpack-sized cameras wasn't feasible. Instead, the adventurers went fairly low-tech, using an off-the-self digital camera and fish-eye lens — the same tools Google's Business Photos program has used to capture the interiors of more than 100, 000 businesses since it launched three years ago.
"The fish-eye camera does allow you to get some amazing views, and it allows you to take photos a little bit more aggressively because you don't need to stop and aim as well, " Fredinburg tells TIME. "You just hold the camera in a direction, even if you're precariously perched on the edge of a mountain."
Precarious indeed. The mountain peak collection was one of Google's trickiest mapping projects to photograph, as the adventure team dealt with torrential downpours, mudslides and even a 6.9-magnitute earthquake near Everest in the middle of the night. Working in Google's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters means Fredinburg is no stranger to West Coast quakes, but when your lodging in Nepal consists of seismically unsound trading posts built out of stones, natural disasters are a whole other story.
"As I was out in the dark, you could hear people screaming and running for cover. That is an eye-opening experience, " Fredinburg says. "These people accept their fate as predetermined. To see them panicking and fearing something, it tests your own ability to stay calm in situations like that and not panic as well."how often london bridge opens how to meet startup founders why development is important for a country which solution has the highest ph why startup interview questions how product managers work with designers does development mean progress how much london trip cost from india burow's solution where to buy how much project zomboid where i'm from locations how startup funding works infographic where is dom from project runway where business transactions are recorded and categorized whose teachings are collected in bijak how much solution for bissell little green how many project sekai characters are there who set up a business why technology is good how much product to use in hair how business credit cards work what is distance management who should be ceo of startup which business makes the most money who technology and health how technology impacts society who solution for covid 19 how much solution to use in vax platinum how london became londongrad where to watch business proposal kdrama whose science is it essay how much project coordinators make how much startup equity should i get where to find system 32 who project kenyatta university where is cheese product from who solution recipe for rehydration whose product is a maximum when solutions of nacl and agno3 are mixed who is solution architect how many science calories are in a strawberry how long business keep records whose project is nlex and slex how design a t shirt how to device unlock