The power of Google (News - Alert) Maps cannot be underestimated. The service has given us the ability to see actual Street Views in real-time, explore other countries and regions to see what the layout of their land and cities are like and discover unfamiliar parts of the world as they actually appear.
Until now, however, the varying elevations of mountain ranges have made Google Maps unable to provide the same experience for those interested in exploring such heights from their computer.
Dan Fredinburg is one of the minds at Google that decided to take on this problem, and now the fruits of his efforts have been realized with Google Maps offering Street View imagery of some of the most famous and formidable mountains in the world for the first time.
“I took a different team of colleagues and we climbed the mountains in order to make Google Maps more rich and adventurous,” Fredinburg explained to ABC News via phone interview. “We captured all this content in order to show what it is like to be and live there.”
Would-be climbers and mountain enthusiasts can now access Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Himalayas and the famed Mt. Everest, and Argentina’s Aconcagua using the imagery gathered by Fredinburg and his team. Fredinburg is hoping to add more mountain ranges to the list.
Thirty-one year-old Fredinburg works at Google on the privacy and security team, but one of his main passions in life is mountain climbing, which made him perfect for the job.
Armed with two sets of cameras and fisheye lenses for capturing wider shots, as well as several lightweight tripods, Fredinburg and his Mountain Enthusiast trekked all three historic mountain ranges and took the many complicated and detailed shots necessary to compile the 360 degree views.
Although Google has developed a camera-topped backpack for taking Street View shots (Google Trekker), the equipment was too bulky for the intense climbs involved in this ambitious project.
Including mountain peaks in Street View is just one of a number of recent creative Street View projects from Google. The company recently added views of the Grand Canyon and various notable football stadiums to its world map as well.
To see the new staggering scenic views for yourself, visit www.google.com/maps.
Edited by Brooke Neuman