In their quest to control all human knowledge, Google has driven their cameras through 5 National Parks. Currently Yosemite, Redwood, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Death Valley and Joshua Tree are ready. Lassen and Mojave are coming soon. Doing California Parks is a bit easy since their headquarters is in the SF Bay area burg of Mountain View. Using “Street View” you can see 360-degree panoramic images for each park.
Gosh, you can sit at home and virtually “drive” the roads of our beloved Yosemite. Google says they are doing this so more people will appreciate the parks. Maybe this will encourage folks to just stay home instead of actually going out of the house. No gas costs! Easy to trade traffic jams and hard-to-get accommodations and permits for a bag of chips and an iPad. Imagine, to get a kinda-real experience, just set up your tent in your backyard, load the routine and pretend. Yes, pretend. Imagine.
I played with the Yosemite one and found that I could zoom about 1/8 mile down the Wawona Road until I had to zoom again. But I guess I could get from the Tunnel View starting point down to Curry Village in about an hour at that rate. (About the same as in person on a busy day.) I could pan left to look for bears without anyone honking at me. Privacy? Fagetaboutit. It is very easy to recognize real people standing around the Tunnel View lookout even though their faces are blurred. Big Brother is watching.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.” – Google CEO Eric Schmidt
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com