One of the nerdiest things I do when I’m bored is to “travel” through Google Earth and Street View. It can be fun
to go to view places I haven’t been or want to visit. For now, I’m content with Google bringing me to new places but someday, I will. Looks like I’ll be visiting more tourist spots as the search giant has recently launched Vertical Street View. It’s a new collection that features a vertical view of a mountain.
The first vertical view is that of Yosemite’s El Capitan. With Vertical Street View, you can climb 3,000 feet of this famous rock wall. Even if you don’t do wall or rock climbing, you can at least experience the view from below and as if you were climbing it yourself.
Google has partnered with the legends in climbing: Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold, and Lynn Hill. Caldwell even wrote about his experience on the official Google blog. He said he didn’t hesitate to climb the El Capitan at Yosemite when he was asked by the Yosemite National Park and the Google Maps team.
This is the first-ever vertical Street View of the El Capitan, one of the hardest climbs in Yosemite. It was one challenging feat but Google, the Yosemite National Park, and the climbers are all professionals and they have good equipment to help them with the climb and capture this new kind of street view.
Reading about Tommy Caldwell’s experience and on how the team did the street view collection was enough to convince me that this Street View is something to view and share. While collection of views can be easy now for Google, this one was quite a challenge because they have to climb up with the cameras intact and making sure they really finish. It was Alex Honnold, a record-holder for climbing the Nose within 2 hours and 23 minutes, and photographer Brett Lowell who climbed 3,000 feet up so we could now watch the entire vertical route.
Crazy stuff on Google Vertical Street View but expect this won’t be the last. The climbers have been working hard too to provide information and previews of their climbs and Treks. They helped in the creation of a new Yosemite Treks page that features a tour up El Capitan. Caldwell also shared that Google will be bringing students soon on a virtual reality field trip the Yosemite Park through the new Google Expeditions project in cooperation with NatureBridge.
See for yourself the Street View imagery 3,000 feet up El Capitan here.