Exploring with Maps

Nature Valley Trail View

It seemed like last week, everywhere I turned, another street-view type of map site popped-up. While they may not have especially groundbreaking interactivity, they give the opportunity to experience places that are otherwise inaccessible to most people. And their gentle pacing supports experiences which are more in-tune to what it’s like to be there, rather than a quick fly-through.

Nature Valley’s Trail View lets you explore a variety of hiking trails in the US. They’re beautiful locations, with lots of additional information. You can even auto-play so it’s like you’re taking the hile. Plus I love how most trails start in parking lots, just as in real life.

Google’s collection of Amazon streetviews lets you explore waterways and trails in Brazil’s Amazon. Some start in small towns, and you then hike dirt roads before getting deep in the forrest. It’s just part of a larger gallery of curated streetviews, but unique in its “wildernessy” quality.

Lastly, what was launched as an April Fool’s joke, is a cute 8-bit version of Google Streetview. It’s basically the world as seen from an 8-bit console. Cute.

Oh – also, from a couple years ago, here’s a couple guys doing a real-time race across the US using Google streetview…