Ever dreaming to visit places like Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, Grand Canyon or other places of attraction in the world but you have no time or budget for it? Well you can do so with Google Street View. It is a part of the infamous Google Maps project where they provide 360 degrees panoramic view from the eye of a pedestrian. The project was started in the US in 2007 and it has been expanded to different countries of the world. Malaysia was included in 2013.
Looking at the places through you monitor. Sound boring right? But then it was kinda fun when you don’t have the chance to visit the place you want. The 360 degrees of view gives a very rich experience, much more than what 2-D photographs can give you. You can see what you will see when you are at the place except that you are not physically there. There are some cool underwater shoots too. It looks fun too even if you have visited the place before.
View of Paris from Eiffel Tower
Underwater Shoot of Sian Ka’an
The photos are usually taken by the Street View Car in the picture earlier or by using Trekkers or Google Trikes (tricycles) if the place is unreachable by car. Both of them are equipped with GPS and camera to locate the images taken. The cameras will collect the images and the images will be aligned and converted to a 360 degrees panoramas before showing to users like us. The technology behind the project is simply awesome.
How to do it? These are the ways. The first way is to go to the Street View page and click the collection you find interesting and click on them. As simple as that. When you’re looking at the place there will be some details of it displayed on the left.
The other way is to search it from Google Maps. If you are using the new Google Maps, find the place you wish to look at from the map and click the little yellow man (shown in red circle) on the right bottom corner. Then the areas that turn blue in the maps indicates that Google Street View is available there. You can also click the up arrow button and cards of available Street Views will be shown. Just click the one you want to see.
Haven’t change to new Google Maps? Google Street View is available too. After finding the place you are interested, click at drag the little yellow man on the left to the blue are. ( On the other hand you should sign up for the new Google Maps. It’s far better.)
You can use mouse and arrow keys on keyboard to navigate around the place. For me keyboard will be better if you want to move around slowly and mouse is good when you want to go to a place faster.
Head over the Behind The Scenes page for more info on how they did it. For me its an awesome project to open our eyes and broaden our view especially when we don’t have the luxury to travel around the globe. Quench the thirst first! Cheers!