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Explore the haunted corners of the world... if you dare
October 29, 2014
Something wicked this way comes
… Whether you’re a trio of
witches back from the dead
or just a trick-or-treater, chances are you’re hitting the streets (or riding a broom!) on Halloween night. For those looking for an extra fright, take a tour of spooky places from around the world on Google Maps.
Start in 19th century Paris. While cheery guests listen to the beautiful arias at the Opéra Garnier, a dreary lake lies beneath the streets. Floating above the silent water, a
lurks. Are your eyes playing tricks on you... or is that a cloaked figure looming in the shadows?
Opéra Garnier (Paris Opera), Paris, France
Standing at the steps of
in Victoria, BC, you might believe you’ve found the perfect home away from home. Think again… listen closely for the sounds of a piano playing softly throughout the house. The spirit of a ghastly pianist is said to linger in the corridors and windows.
Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC
If you’re feeling ill, the abandoned
in Taiwan is
the place to go. For years, passersby have sighted now-deceased patients, both young and old, in the treacherous fourth- and fifth-floor windows. To this day, people claim to hear wailing in the night from inside the hospital’s haunted walls.
Xinglin hospital, Tainan, Taiwan
Not all spooky stories are made up. For three decades, the
Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary
was home to some 1,500 of the world’s most infamous prisoners. Surrounded by bone-chilling waters, “the Rock” was notorious as the toughest prison in America.
Alcatraz Island, California, USA
If these spooky spots whet your appetite for fear, get up close with some of the most frightful locations in Google Maps Gallery and find ghouls and goblins in
around the world. If you’re looking for a laugh instead of a scream, take a
through your local corn maze, find the perfect jack-o-lantern at your neighboring
, and scout the best
routes near you.
Now get your cauldrons bubbling and monsters mashing because after all,
this is Halloween
Posted by Susan Cadrecha, Google Maps Zombie Bride
Google Maps Gallery
Explore the world through Google Earth for Android with fast, accurate maps
October 22, 2014
Whether you’re sailing down the Mississippi River or trekking through the Swiss Alps, Google Earth can inspire your next adventure. To help power your digital travels,
Google Earth for Android
is getting an update over the next week—with an enhanced 3D experience, quicker updates to the map, and an easier way to view your KML files in Earth.
Starting today, you’ll see faster, smoother, and crisper transitions as you’re zooming into your dream destination in Google Earth. Thanks to a new 3D rendering technology—the first major 3D overhaul since Earth launched more than 10 years ago—sharper views of mountains and cities are just a virtual skydive away.
Built from scratch, our new 3D technology gives you sharper views in Google Earth for Android
As you’re flying around Paris or looking for things to do in Tokyo, you can rest assured knowing that the globe in your pocket will show you the freshest information, with Google Earth now getting the same updates as Google Maps. Roads and labels have gotten a visual refresh as well, making Earth’s styling easier on the eyes for you virtual explorers.
Roads and labels get a refresh in the newest version of Earth
And if you’ve created your own map for Google Earth—whether you’re a teacher preparing a history lesson, a researcher tracking changes in the environment, or just a geospatial enthusiast—you’ll now be able to open your KML files from Google Drive directly in the Earth app, so you can view it on the go.
Save a few clicks when viewing your KML files on the go
To discover the world with these updates in hand, head to the Play Store and download
Google Earth for Android
. Stay tuned for more 3D updates in the coming months!
Posted by Ashwin Limaye, Product Manager, Google Earth
Explore Gombe National Park through the eyes of Dr. Jane Goodall
October 21, 2014
In July 1960,
Dr. Jane Goodall
stepped off the boat in what is now
Gombe National Park, Tanzania
with a pair of second-hand binoculars and a notepad. She was 26 years old, and was there to observe and record the behavior of chimpanzees in the wild. This summer, after four planes and a boat ride, I took my first (wobbly) steps onto the shores of Lake Tanganyika. I was about to walk the same paths that Dr. Goodall took to do her groundbreaking research into the lives of chimpanzees. And now—thanks to a Google Maps partnership with the
Jane Goodall Institute
Tanzania National Parks
—so can you.
We were invited to Gombe National Park to capture a record of this historic place, where today the Jane Goodall Institute manages the longest-running chimpanzee research study in the world. It was here that Dr. Goodall first witnessed chimpanzees
fishing for termites
using a blade of grass as a tool to dig them out of their mounds. Using tools was an act previously believed to be unique to humans. Her observations revolutionized our understanding of chimpanzees—animals that share 98 percent of our DNA—and redefined the very notion of “human.” More than 50 years later, protecting chimpanzees and their habitat is central to the mission of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI).
View of Lake Tanganyika at The Peak, Gombe National Park, Tanzania
Pushing through the brush, carrying the Street View
, we collected thousands of 360 degree images along the narrow paths of the park to share with the world. We first stopped at a location Jane calls “The Peak”—her favorite vantage point. I could imagine her looking out over the canopies, peering tirelessly through her binoculars, writing in her notebook, and observing these beautiful animals as they
swung through the trees
A chimpanzee named Gizmo in Gombe National Park
In the spirit of preservation, the Institute plans to use Gombe Street View as a unique archive of this special place, available to future generations of researchers. This imagery complements JGI’s current monitoring efforts using
satellite imagery and mapping
to protect 85 percent of the remaining chimpanzees in Africa. Young people will also be inspired to explore the wild through the 360 degree imagery as part of JGI’s educational program,
Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots
This Street View collection
is our small contribution to the already rich legacy of science and discovery at Gombe. Wherever you are, take a moment to experience what it’s like to be Jane for a day: peek into
, take a dip in
, spot the
chimp named Google
and try to keep up with
Glitter and Gossamer
We hope you enjoy exploring this living laboratory for yourself!
Posted by Allie Lieber, Program Manager, Google Earth Outreach
Special thank you to Dr. Jane Goodall,
Dr. Lilian Pintea
Dr. Anthony Collins
and many more members of the Jane Goodall Institute in the United States and Tanzania, as well as
, for all of the knowledge and time they contributed to this project.
Google Street View
Roam the Arabian desert with Street View
October 7, 2014
Imagine sitting atop a camel looking across a vast expanse of desert dunes. A glimmer of green flashes in the distance. It could be a mirage or a bountiful oasis just awaiting your discovery. Now with Google Maps, you can see for yourself and journey across the sands of the
, one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world.
On your virtual trip through the desert, you’ll find sand dunes that reach an astounding height of 25-40 meters. These rolling
were home to early settlers back in the
Late Stone Age
, making Liwa one of the oldest sites in the United Arab Emirates.
Liwa Desert, UAE
Some of the richest history in this desert lies in the
—the largest oasis in the Arabian peninsula. Many people across the UAE can trace their origins to the first tribes that settled there and established the region as a trade center. The oasis is also home to date farms, whose trees and fruit are important cultural symbols—the trunks of the palms were used to weave the walls of Bedouin tents, baskets and more, while the fruit was a treasured treat for the locals. Now, the oasis is a sought out location for tourists around the world and those who live in the area.
Liwa Oasis, UAE
To bring this stunning desert to Street View, we fashioned the
to rest on a camel, which gathered imagery as it walked. Using camels for the collection allowed us to collect authentic imagery and minimize our disruption of this fragile environment.
Street View Trekker mounted on a camel
We hope this collection gives you a glimpse of what it may be like to travel the desert as caravan merchants have for the past 3000 years. Should you make the journey here in person, who knows—you may meet some
. To see more, visit our
Street View gallery
Posted by Najeeb Jarrar, Product Marketing Manager, Middle East and North Africa
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