Google Lets You Experience Museums From Your Chair!

For those who are interested in the museum trip, you can now do it from the comfort of your own home. Engadget has reported that Google is teaming up with the British Museum in London to bring you a Street View style viewing experience of the internal museum itself. This has been recorded in a similar style as the Street View cars by moving around a camera dolly in traditional walking places around the museum floor. Google already has a Cultural Insitute, so this new venture will add over 4,500 extra pieces including detailed photos and descriptions.


Head on over to the Google Street View Cultural Insitute experience and take a free virtual stroll around the museum.

In addition to this system, Google has compiled a microsite called “The Museum of the World”. This is a collection of all stored artifacts in a timeline for you to look into what art/design was popular across different cultures at different time periods.

I can see something like this really taking off with the consumer introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) in the near future and it will really open up the world to those who are bed bound or hospitalised. Would you use a system like this to visit, or would you prefer the experience of physically walking around the location yourself?

Use Google Street View on Your Oculus Rift

The most revolutionary piece of gaming technology in the past decade has to be the Oculus Rift, or at least it is for me. Virtual Reality has come a very long way, can you remember back to the mid 90’s when you could pick up a very cheap gaming kit that resembled an N64 controller and a cheaply made headset that you could play a small array of games on? Well, now the world has moved on from pixelated games and into the real world.

In the past, users have used their VR headsets to view the huge amount of 360° pictures available through Google Street View to varying degrees of success. Now it seems a keen coder has produced a small application with a huge amount of functionality for direct use for the Oculus Rift. If you are lucky enough to own a Rift, why not try out the feature through the download links below. This is currently in Beta stages, so if you happen to find a bug, why not add your feedback in the source link at the bottom of the page.

Windows Download

Mac Download

If you have tried this, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you to reddit for providing us with this information.

Apple Reveals Purpose of Camera Vans in California

Have you seen those mysterious Apple vans cruising around the California area? The camera-equipped vans have been the focus of speculation for a while now. Are they for mapping, self-driving cars, or perhaps something else altogether? If you guessed mapping, give yourself a cookie!

Apple has revealed their vans are gathering images and data for use in an Apple street mapping app. The vehicles are set to take street-level images and data for Apple Maps for both iOS and OS X, as an obvious direct competitor to Google Maps and their Street View service.

“We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data,” Apple said in the notice. “For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.”

While this doesn’t have anything to do with self-driving cars right now, it would come as no surprise if Apple also plan to use the data they gather for their self-driving car technology, much in the same way Google has done, but for now, it seems this will be limited to the mapping service. Can they really compete with Google Street View? That remains to be seen, but for Apple users, any improvement to the mapping services offered is no bad thing.

Apple’s mapping vans are set to hit the streets of Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Texas, Utah, and Washington State. In the UK, Essex, Greater London, Kent, and Birmingham. Finally, in Ireland, the greater Dublin area.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information.

Google Uses Ziplines to Showcase Amazonian Rainforests

Google has been mapping a lot of the Globe with its Street View project. Thus far, we know it uses cars to get in and around places and map the area around streets in a 360 degree angle from the mounted camera on top of the car.

But how about the places where a car can’t go? The answer – ziplines! The latest addition to its Street Maps images comes from a partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, who came with the idea of borrowing Google’s Trekker, Google’s special camera for capturing Street View photos, through its loan program, which lends the cameras out to nonprofits and other organizations.

“The big challenge was finding where to put the zipline,” says Karin Tuxen-Bettman, program manager for Google Earth who worked with FAS on the project. “This wasn’t an eco-tourism location where they had these sites already chosen and set up. They brought all their equipment by boat to the location and hiked several kilometers in to find this tree.”

With this initiative, FAS managed to capture a part of an Amazonian rainforest from the forest floor to the upper canopy. The foundation also took the camera down the Rio Aripuanã and Rio Mariepauá rivers to highlight the communities of people who live in and around the forest and rivers.

“These people are the devoted stewards of the river and forests, and protect it by living with it, preventing the destruction of the trees and the life that depends on them,” Tuxen-Bettman wrote in a blog post.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information

You Can Now Embed Google Street View on the Web

Google has finally made it possible to embed Street View images and Photo Sphere panoramas into webpages.

Previously you could only embed maps into websites, but now you can view Street View in all its glory right here on eTeknix, or any other website for that matter.

All you now need to do is click the settings button at the bottom corner of a Street View image or Photo Sphere, and you’ll simply be given the HTML embed code to paste straight into your website or blog post.

Source: Engadget

Google Street View Takes You On A Trip To The Taj Mahal

Google have long proven their ability to take Street View off of the highway and into some of the more unique parts of the world, from Easter Island to the insides of a sweetie shop. Now they’ve taken their their love for exploration around one of the worlds most famous landmarks with a trip to India’s legendary Taj Mahal.

Not all of us will be able to visit the Taj Mahal in our lifetime and while many will be familiar with what it looks like from pictures, we lack the ability to move the camera around and explore in more detail, until now of course.

The Indian ministry of culture has joined forces with Google to bring the Taj Mahal, as well as 99 other heritage sites, to Google’s Street View.

It’s great that Google are working to capture these places, the historical value of the data alone is worth the trouble and for education purposes it can be a very powerful tool to have.

The world is a big place, full of many sights that we may never see in person, but what places would you love to see captured by the Google Street View cameras?

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of The Next Web.

Virtually Climb Mount Fuji Using Google Street View

Sightseeing is fun for just about anyone, lots of people can’t afford to go on elaborate vacations. What if you could see the hottest sites without needing to leave the comfort of your own home, or office?

Google’s Maps with Street View have been ever expanding, allowing us to view the streets of our most desired places to visit.

Google has several different cameras that they use to bring us Street View, primarily using the car, other cameras are the trolley, and snowmobile. Today they are using the Trekker, a wearable backpack, a portable camera system that is able to gather images while the wearer travels on foot through harsh terrain and to locations difficult to get to. The Trekker has a total of 15 cameras angled around to give a 360-degree panoramic view. Taking a photo every two and a half seconds.

We learn from Mashable that today Google Japan uploaded a video to their YouTube page showing us that there is now a Street View of Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan, which reaches a height of 12,389 feet into the sky.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2LDkP7UbxU[/youtube]

Mount Fuji is an active volcano, only accessible by foot making it a perfect candidate for the trekker, the 3,776 meter hike has already been uploaded to Google Map servers and is viewable here.

This street view is not only great to see the scenery but also to be used as a guide if you are planning to climb Mount Fuji anytime soon.

Photo from engadget