Go climb a rock (or explore a reef) from the comfort of your home
posted Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 11:59 AM EDT
Google has been busy sending its Street View cars (and backpacks, snowmobiles and tricycles) all over the world to document not only streets, but also all kinds of sights for us to enjoy from the comfort of our homes, without having to actually travel anywhere. A notable recent addition to the company's treasure trove of virtual sightseeing tours were the famous ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the ancient Buddhist temple complex and largest religious monument in the world.
Now another World Heritage Site has been added to Google Street View, but this time it's an underwater location: the coral reefs of the Komodo National Park, off the shore of the Indonesian island of Komodo. With a little help from Catlin Seaview Survey and its 360-degree panoramic underwater cameras, Google was able to add a panoramic tour of the park's underwater scenery to its Street View portfolio.
If snorkling isn't your thing, or if you're afraid of Manta rays, then maybe you'd rather take a virtual hike to the top of Mt Eiger in the Swiss Alps? You can do that, too, although not (yet) via Google Street View. But you can virtually climb the infamous northern face of the mountain, the Eiger Nordwand, on the Mammut Project360 website.
The Swiss outdoor equipment manufacturer has recorded a hiking tour to the top of the 13,000 ft Eiger using GoPro cameras, and assembled the footage into a full 360-degree panoramic tour of the ascent. From the comfrot of your couch, you can take the trip along the Heckmair route, named after Anderl Heckmair, who was the first to take this path to the top of the mountain.
In the video below, you can learn more about how Project360 was accomplished. And if you've taken the virtual hike to the top of Mt Eiger and are done with roaming the Komodo National Park, why not just pick a random place on Google Maps and see what else Street View has to show you? There's a lot to explore out there, and you can do it all without leaving your house.