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March 23, 2013 by Dan Grose
Google has added some of the highest mountains in the world to its Maps service, including Street View pictures of the landmarks.
Publishing the news on its blog, the aptly named Mountain View company visited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Elbrus in Russia, with the most notable summit being Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain.
Despite having the intentions to visit the very top of Everest, treacherous weather conditions meant the Google team had to settle for images of the mountain’s east base camp, itself an astonishing 17,598 feet above sea level.
“100% chance of death”
The impressive images were captured using a fish-eye lens and tripod, creating Google’s standard 360-degree view of the various mountains and allowing users to zoom in to view the various areas of the lofty surroundings.
Speaking to Wired, Dan Fredinburg, Google technical program manager, described the thinking behind the brave images. “There’s a social benefit to using these tools to tell the story in these environments.
“A chance to really connect to what’s on the ground with a rich imagery so they can see what it looks like and feels like to be there.”
He also described how, upon arrival at Mount Everest base camp, his guides eventually put him off wanting to reach the top. When enquiring about the odds of death if they were to continue, the reply of “certain, 100 per cent” was enough to do it.
So, brave and daring stuff from Google, but we’re still wondering how they managed to get the car up there…
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