The first vertical Street View Trek
What climber doesn’t dream of scaling El Capitan? This mountain, which is some 1,000 meters tall, is located in Yosemite National Park in California. It is a magical attraction for free climbers from around the world. Its summit is 2,307 meters above sea level and offers more than 1,000 climbing routes. The best known is “The Nose”.
Google Treks take you to far-flung locations
Google has been running the Trekker Loan Program since 2013. People who have access to hard-to-reach locations can help collect Street View images. As part of the program, Google lends high-quality camera equipment to the employees of tourism boards, nonprofits, research groups, and other organizations. Google also organizes its own photo shoots in remote areas, which are known as treks. One example of this is the El Capitan Street View Trek.
Accompany famous climbers on their way up
Google has set out to make the beauty and the physical challenge of climbing El Capitan something that everyone can experience. This Trek offers the opportunity to experience the magic of the climbing route for yourself. Together with world-renowned climbers such as Lynn Hill, who was the first person to free climb “The Nose”, and Alex Honnold, users can explore the route and its magnificent surroundings, experiencing the magic of the climb up close and personal. With 360° panoramas as well as day and night views, this trek offers spectacular images that inspire climbers – and everyone else.
A special challenge: the first vertical Google Trek
One major challenge with this project was the vertical nature of the trek, which is a much greater technical feat than standard horizontal treks. This meant that new ways had to be found for taking the photos and for programming. In order to improve the user experience, very high-resolution Street View photos were put to use.
Our task: from design to microsite
We were responsible for both designing and launching this Google Street View Trek microsite. We also created our own versions of the application and panoramas, which can be integrated into other Web sites. With the help of Ubilabs, Google offers 360° panoramas and the interactive functions of the microsite, which can be integrated into third-party Web sites. This has been used by The New York Times and Patagonia, a manufacturer of professional outdoor clothing. The Patagonia Web site has been enhanced to include a high-quality, interactive feature.
This Google Street View Trek was nominated at the Webby Awards 2016 in den categories Best Visual Design und Best User Interface.
Another Google Street View Trek that we created leads users to the Khumbu at Mount Everest.