Adventure travellers take note: Google has literally taken the legwork out of climbing the world's tallest peaks.
The search engine giant announced on Monday that their Google Maps service has now captured panoramic views from the top of the world's tallest mountains. The update is the latest expansion to Google's street-view functionality and now virtually takes Google users to the top of mountains like Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, or the Everest Base Camp in Asia so long as they've got internet access.
As Google notes in their company blog, the mountains photographed are part of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. The photos brings the reward of climbing what would be roughly 5,900 metres in Russia (in the case of Mount Elbrus) without the need for oxygen tanks, months of training, not to mention the risk of dying while making your ascent.
The project, which started back in 2011 with a trip to Everest Base Camp, only required a lightweight tripod and a digital camera with a fisheye lens, the standard gear Google requires for a business photo shoot, notes The Next Web. But just because they didn't pack the usual gear required for their street view project, didn't mean that the climb was any easier said Google’s “lead adventurer” Dan Fredinburg.
"In the Everest expedition, a plane crashed similar to the one that we were on to get in, and after that, there was three days of mudslides, snowstorms and then there was the earthquake, which was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake which was absolutely terrifying for everyone who was on the expedition as well as the locals,” Fredinburg told the Los Angeles Times.
Fredinburg and his team also documented their adventure through a separate blog when they weren't busy snapping photos from the top of mountains. You can read the blog here and check out the photos in the gallery below:
Google Maps' Mountain Summit Street View. Story continues after the gallery.
Where would you like to see Google's Street View go next? Let us know in the comment section below or on twitter @HPCaTravel