May 3, 2010

Historical fun with Google street view maps

(Click image to enlarge)
Opening home page to Google street view maps

Did you know that you can visit places and literally travel down the roads of America at street level as if you were driving your car. What's best of all is that you and have a 360 degree view, giving you the ability to turn in a complete circle and see everything around you. See the nations capitol, or your own neighborhood, without leaving your chair. It's not that difficult and I can explain the basics to you in a few seconds and you can quickly be off on your own adventures.

This link takes you to the home page pictured above. There you can read all about the history of the project if you wish but my goal here is just to get you started so with that in mind, there are 2 ways you can get to where you want to go. The first is to left click on the map (as seen above) and drag it to your approximate location. Use the zoom (+ and -) side bar on the left of the map to zoom in and out to find your destination city and streets. Do note that there are still locations not available. The second method is to type your destination city into the top Google maps text square. Use the zoom (+ and -) side bar to zoom closer to your destination.

Once you distinguish streets go to the zoom side bar again and you should see the little gold man pictured above the "+" symbol. Use your mouse and left click on him and drag him to your location. Line the circle that is attached to him over the street location where you want to go or start, and release him. Suddenly you are whisked away down to street level viewing, pretty cool huh?

I chose Skagway, Alaska for obvious reasons.

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Skagway, Alaska
2nd Avenue

Once on street level you use your mouse and left click to move forward and turn around. There is a circle that shows the next location on the street when you left click. When turning you will have to double click in order to stay in place while moving your mouse to the next location. This is where you will run into some frustrations if there are to be any. Be careful to note where your mouse pointer is when you click. Not doing so may relocate you to a completely different location and you will have to start over.

(Click image to enlarge)
2nd Avenue
Jeff Smith's Parlor

Once you get moving along streets and turning down pat you can find all sorts of neat locations. I was able to drive down 2nd Avenue in Skagway and once in front of Jeff Smith's Parlor, turned 90 degrees and viewed Soapy's saloon. How neat is that? Ok, it's time for you to take your own trip down the streets of the world. Happy traveling...and send me a postcard!


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