If you happen to be in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics, and you see a snowmobile go driving past you with a strange contraption on the back, don’t worry, it’s just the Google Street View team mapping the games.
Google’s Street View team has mostly driven around in cars to map the streets of the world, allowing users to get a street level view of most major cities with more rural communities being added all the time. A while back the team added a tricycle that would allow them to ride around college campuses, theme parks and more, getting even more of the world into the Google Maps system.
Now the team has announced that it has added a snowmobile to its fleet of vehicles and is currently making the rounds in Vancouver, British Columbia to take detailed images of the various venues of the 2010 Winter Olympics. For the first time ever, people from around the world will be able examine courses in great detail from the comfort of their own homes.
Google has also set about adding 3D graphical depictions of buildings from the various venues around nine of the various sporting sites.
While nothing will ever beat actually attending the Olympics in person, that just isn’t practical for the vast majority of people in the world. Watching on television can be fun, but you never get a real sense for where events are being held in relation to one another, nor have you ever been able to follow a course in a 360 degree view that you can travel at your own pace. It may not be the most exciting news in the world, it sure will add some depth to the happenings for the die hard fans of the Olympics.