Google’s Newest Street View Makes You A Mountaineer

Most of us will never climb Mount Everest. That’s what makes the stories of those who do so much more exciting. Thanks to Google’s new Mountain Summit Street View, however, you too can feel the exhilaration of peering over the world’s tallest peaks without any fear of frostbite.

Following up on efforts to digitally recreate National Parks and the ocean floor, the Google Maps team recently completed the arduous task of cataloging every inch of some of the most famous mountains on Earth, including Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Elbrus (Europe) and Everest Base Camp (Asia). The panoramic results are truly breathtaking, and just might be the closest some of us ever come to these tall mountains.

Google maps, mountains

Image via Google Maps

Armed only with a tripod and fisheye camera, Google’s Dan Fredinburg, program manager and mountaineer, lead Google Mountain Enthusiast teams around the world and up some formidable summits to capture the necessary images. “While there’s nothing quite like standing on the mountain, with Google Maps you can instantly transport yourself to the top of these peaks and enjoy the sights without all of the avalanches, rock slides, crevasses, and dangers from altitude and weather that mountaineers face,” writes Fredinburg on the official Google blog.

Each mountain in the group of peaks is one of the Seven Summits—the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.The images captured at each location are truly breathtaking–clear blues skis contrasting sharply to the most unforgiving landscape each country has to offer.

Learn more in the Google Street View gallery, or visit the Lat Long Blog for a behind-the-scenes look at the Googlers who actually climbed these mountains to capture this stunning photography.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog