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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Google Maps Now Includes Antarctica

You can get a Street View of the South Pole.

by: Ted Alvarez

image: Wikimedia Commons
image: Wikimedia Commons

Plenty of backpackers (including yours truly) harbor dreams of hiking on all seven continents, but there’s one that’s tougher to reach than all the rest: Antarctica. Luckily for us, Google Maps Street View team can get you the next-best thing: mind-melting, hiker’s-eye-level views rendered in jaw-dropping detail.

Google began the project a few years ago and started releasing images in 2012, but a giant new update knits together whole swaths of wilderness way, way, way down under.  Highlights include the Mars-like Bull Pass in the Murdo Dry Valleys (one of the continent’s rare ice-free areas), the Cape Royal Adelie Penguin Colony, and Scott’s Hut, a still-stocked but barebones hut used by Shackleton.

Google persuaded researchers on Antarctica to hike around the continent (uh, sign me up) wearing the Trekker, a 42-lb. pack outfitted with batteries and a 15-lens, geodesic camera poking out of the top like a mushroom. Google has previously used the Trekker to capture 360-degree views in the Grand Canyon and other wild places.

Of course, if this just made your Antarctica wanderlust worse,  start planning here.

Read more: Daily Mail

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