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Reach new heights with Street View of Mont Blanc in Google Maps
January 21, 2016
Declared the “monarch of mountains” by Lord Byron, the
Mont Blanc massif
is shrouded in mystery, rolling clouds and imposing snowfields. One of Europe’s highest peaks, the wild terrain of the famed mountain range is reserved for ardent mountaineers and intrepid explorers. Starting today in Google Maps, you can get an up-close, 360-degree look at the breathtaking beauty of Mont Blanc. Following last year’s first-ever vertical imagery collection of El Capitan in California’s
Yosemite National Park
, we partnered with world-renowned alpine photographers, skiers, mountaineers, climbers, and runners to collect Street View of Western Europe’s highest peak.
By working with legendary adventurers, the Street View team was able to capture the spirit of the massif in a way few witness firsthand. Run on the summit with
—he holds the speed record for ascending and descending Mont Blanc in just 4 hours 57 minutes! Ice climb up a serac with record-setting alpine climber
, or go knee deep in powder alongside 14-time ski mountaineering champion
Laetitia Roux and famed guide Patrick Gabarrou
Ueli Steck ice climbing on Mont Blanc
You can also join French climbing legend
on the imposing yet beautiful
Aiguille du Midi
, the 3842-meter peak near the Mont Blanc. Or, crouch below innovative filmmaker and free skier
Candide Thovex as he soars through the air
or has fun as only he can—by
taking his skis from the snow to the grass
Catherine Destivelle ascending near the Aiguille du Midi
, acclaimed cinematographer and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, alpine photographer
joined Google on Mont Blanc as part of the team.
If reaching the top is what you care about, elite guide
joined the troupe by carrying the Street View Trekker up and down the
of Mont Blanc. Click through the Street View to get his first-person perspective of each step to the summit.
Climb the entire Goûter Route of the Mont Blanc massif
Unfortunately, Mont Blanc’s glaciers are receding due to climate change. You can
about how the rising temperatures are directly affecting the mountain from legendary guide Patrick Gabarrou, who describes the the glacial melt on the
Mer de Glace
. So this Street View imagery also serves as a digital record of Mont Blanc as it appears today, so future outdoor enthusiasts and scientists can look back at this time capsule to see how the mountain has changed.
Kilian Jornet on the summit of Mont Blanc
Whether you choose to run up the Mont Blanc with Kilian Jornet or ski down with Laetitia Roux, we hope you enjoy reaching new heights in Europe’s
beautiful and endangered mountain range
Posted by Sandy Russell, Project Lead, Mont Blanc Street View
Do I stay or do I go now? Google Maps has the answer in one tap.
January 13, 2016
It’s almost 5 p.m. Wednesday—time for that daily game of traffic roulette. The likelihood of stop and go traffic looms in front of you, yet at the same time the latest episode of Downton Abbey and the comfort of your couch are calling.
Well, Google Maps has good news for you. Now with just one tap on Android, you can find out whether you should hit the road or put in some gym time while you wait out the gridlock. Get information like ETAs, traffic updates, nearby gas prices and quickest routes to familiar places–like home, work and recently searched destinations–all without entering a destination.
To add a driving shortcut, press on your homescreen until Android widgets appear, then select the Google Maps driving shortcut icon.
You can also access this feature through the sidebar menu in Google Maps. Tap the sidebar menu and select the “Start Driving” option.
If you’ve preset home and work in Google Maps, you’ll see ETAs at times when you’re likely to be heading to these destinations. If you have location history enabled, we base these suggestions on location data, time of day and day of week. And if you’re logged in, we’ll suggest destinations based on recent Google Maps and Google searches when you open driving mode.
Why join the masses in bumper-to-bumper chaos when your time could be spent doing something else? With quick access to traffic info, it's now easier to make the call.
Posted By: Brian Ferris, Google Maps Software Engineer
The best things come in small (Street View!) packages
January 13, 2016
For those looking to relive their childhood dreams of being a conductor of their own railway and playing with dollhouses, we have a Street View surprise for you: Hamburg’s famed
, the world’s largest model railway, has come to Google Maps. Boasting 13,000 meters of track and more than 200,000 tiny citizens, the museum includes tiny replicas of a variety of German provinces, famous places in America and even a fully-functioning airport!
Street View cameras have floated on gondolas in
, ridden on camels in the
and soared on snowmobiles on
. But to capture the nooks and crannies in Miniatur Wunderland, we worked with our partner at
to build an entirely new—and much smaller—device. Tiny cameras were mounted on tiny vehicles that were able to drive the roads and over the train tracks, weaving through the Wunderland’s little worlds to capture their hidden treasures.
Google Maps’ miniature Street View devices cruising the railways and streets of Miniatur Wunderland
Touring the marvels of Wunderland, you must first begin in its oldest section: Knuffingen, a fictional town situated squarely between the Alps and Harz. Become one of this tiny city’s 10,000 inhabitants: Stop by the city’s rustic
, witness the
local fire department
spring into action when a building catches fire and even see a plane lift off from Knuffingen’s
Farmers market in Knuffingen, Miniatur Wunderland with the Street View car driving by
You can also see a variety of real places designed with an eye for accuracy: a
in Hamburg’s stadium, a
traditional town center
in central Germany, a rowdy
and a replica of the famous
in Bavaria, and even the
of Austria. You can also glimpse the everyday lives of thousands of miniature citizens, as they
their way around the Wunderland.
Wunderland figurines enjoying a parade in Hamburg
Then it’s a (very) short hop over to the U.S., where you can zoom through the valleys of the
, gambol down the strip in
, and even stop by
to salute past U.S. Presidents. Because we captured this imagery at “street level” within the Wunderland itself, you can observe many tiny details in Street View that are not visible even to visitors to the museum --
deep sea divers
at a county fair, farmers
riding a broomstick
on the steps of the courthouse and the
at an outdoor concert.
See the bright lights in Las Vegas in Miniatur Wunderland
To see more of Miniatur Wunderland, including a
miniature Street View car
built to commemorate this joint project, explore our
Street View gallery
. As you navigate through this truly wonderful Wunderland, we think you’ll agree: when it comes to great views, size doesn’t matter!
Posted by Sven Tresp, Street View Program Manager
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