Lifestyle

March 23, 2013

Now Visit Mt. Everest or Mt. Kilimanjaro From Your Desk With Google Maps

Dan Fredinburg spends his free time mountain climbing. And not just in Northern California where he lives or in the local climbing gym. No, Fredinburg climbs the world’s most famous mountains, like Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt. Everest and Aconcagua in South America.

But the 31-year-old’s full time job isn’t strapping on a backpack and trekking around the world. When he isn’t climbing, he has a full time job at Google, working on its privacy and security team. Over the last year and a half, however, he has figured out how to combine those two things. Thanks to the young adventurer, Google is adding Street View imagery of those famous mountains to Google Maps today.

“I took a different team of colleagues and we climbed the mountains in order to make Google Maps more rich and adventurous,” Fredinburg told ABC News in a phone interview. “We captured all this content in order to show what it is like to be and live there.”

Fredinburg and his Mountain Enthusiast team took two sets of cameras, a set of fisheye lenses, which capture wider shots, and lightweight tripods. Google’s Trekker, a backpack with a camera on the top for taking shots for Google Maps, was too heavy and large for the the climb, he said.

The team took multiple shots in each direction to get 360 views; three shots facing north, three facing south, three facing east and three west, he explained. When they returned home to Google’s campus in Mountain View, Calif. they used software to stitch the shots together to create the 360 degree Street Views of the mountains.

And today those rich images will be pushed live in Google Maps. Now you can view those mountains just like you could view Street Views of your town or city.

Search for Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro and you can see the the snow covered mountain. Search for Argentina’s mighty Aconcagua and you can see the base of the mountain with its tents and other camps. And then don’t forget Everest, where you can see the base camp and see the snow-capped Himalayan mountain peaks.

Over the last few months Google has added some other creative Street View imagery, including images of the Grand Canyon and of football stadiums.

 

Text by ABC News
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