November 29, 2013
Google Street View Makes Your International Travel Plans Easier
If you’re a frequent traveler, Google might be able to make your life a little bit easier.
Thanks to the newest enhancements to Google Street View, those planning a trip abroad in the near future will be able to impress friends, loved ones and traveling companions with their ability to navigate some of the world’s most popular and high-traffic transit hubs, and know airport layouts like the back of their hand.
Google announces that Street View has stepped up their efforts to map global transit locations, adding 16 international airports, more than 50 train and subway stations and a cable car station in Hong Kong. What was once simply a virtual travel tool and street map (and popular time-waster) now has real life applications.
They say getting there is half the fun. Now that can be truer than ever, thanks to Google’s Street View. For years, it has been the go-to travel tool, allowing people to virtually explore exotic locales the world over. Now you can do more than get a sneak peek of your travel destination; you can see what’s in store for you along your journey so you can breeze through it like a seasoned pro.
Think about it. You can check out your airline’s check-in counter in London’s Gatwick Airport and see how fast the lines are moving.
Maybe you want to know where your luggage will be tumbling out onto the carousel at baggage claim in Barcelona?
Worried about finding your way between train platforms at Waterloo Station?
With Street View, you can do a dry run without ever leaving your house so that on your actual travel day, you can navigate the airport like you’ve been there a hundred times.
Google is touting the new additions to Street View as a feature that can come in handy for both tourists and road warriors alike. This will be quite useful if you or someone you’re traveling with is differently abled or needs special accommodation.
If you’re traveling with children, possibly having to wrangle strollers and such in addition to carryon bags, you can plan your attack in advance and make it a fun, interactive learning exercise for the whole family.
This is great news for those meticulous travelers who approach each journey like a military offensive, complete with precision timing, advance recon and having every detail planned to the letter to avoid any surprises. (You all know one of those expert travelers. You might even be one yourself.)
But how about those travelers who suffer from anxiety and break out in a cold sweat just thinking about making their way through the airport terminal?
Street View can help alleviate some of that stress and give them some much-needed peace of mind, helping them feel confident and secure before they even embark on their trek. They can just scope it out on Street View and visualize themselves braving the travel gauntlet in advance, making them dread departure day far less.
For those travelers based in the US, we’ve got good news and we’ve got not-so-good news.
The good news is that you can use Google’s Street View to virtually explore countless destinations such as the canals of Venice, check out real-time conditions in ski resorts and plot your family’s adventure in numerous US national parks.
The not-so-good news for those of us Stateside is that the newly added airports and transit stations are all international; no US airports or train stations have been added. Yet.
Google offered no explanation regarding the lack of US or Canadian airports or transit centers, nor is there any indication of a timeline forthcoming for those additions.
But hey, in the meantime, you can still get a panoramic preview of half of your journey. That’s something to be thankful for this year!
Image Credit: Google