I LOVE Google Streetview.

I really really really LOVE Google Streetview. It is definitely in my top 10 favourite things ever. Why?

  • You can armchair travel to places you may never have the opportunity to visit.
  • You can explore a place you may be visiting before you go, so you have an easier time navigating while there.
  • You can hike some pretty cool places all over the world. 
  • You see curious every day life things sometimes (my mom is on Streetview, crossing the road in our hometown).
  • It's free.
  • You can contribute to Google’s visual network by submitting 360’s with the Google Streetview app.

I can waste days on end in Streetview. This is probably mainly responsible for my obsession with the UK and intense desire to visit again. I spend, at minimum, 1 hour per week exploring some random area of the UK on Streetview.
If you’ve never tried Streetview, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It's an amazing way to explore a place, without the actual cost of travel. It may be enough to satisfy your wanderlust, or it may just feed the fire…

  1. To get into streetview you simply locate your desired location on Google Maps in your browser. Zoom in enough that you can see individual roads, and the click on the little yellow human figure in the lower right hand corner of your screen.
  2. This will highlight all viewable areas in blue. This may also offer a variety of blue or yellow dots on the map. These dots are 360 photos that users have submitted. Blue usually signifies outside, yellow usually means the inside of a building.
  3. Simply click on any of the blue lines, and it will plunk you down into streetview in that spot.
  4. You can click and drag left, right, up or down, to look around you. Then if you hold your cursor over a section of road or path, an arrow will show up, if you click on that arrow, you move in that direction. If no arrow is showing up, shift your view one direction or the other and try again.
  5. In the bottom left corner of your screen there will be a small window showing your location on the map. It will show the little yellow figure at whatever location you’ve picked, and will show your progress as you move. There will also be an arrow in front of the yellow figure, this denotes what direction you are currently facing. This can help you navigate. If you mouse over the map box, the view gets slightly larger, and you can click on any of the blue highlights to relocate to a new place.

Disclaimer: The whole world has not been covered by streetview yet. So there are areas you may not be able to explore. There’s not much done for gravel roads in Alberta, but most paved roads are available. Sometimes very small towns will only have the main road through town available, or they won’t be done at all.

Here is a list of a few cool things to check out on Google Streetview, there is many more than this short list I've compiled.
Parks Canada has a whole list, organized by province, of awesome places you can visit with Streetview
England has 15 trails planned, you can find a complete list, and map locations, at the bottom of this article
Llyn Idwal in Snowdonia National Park is done:
I discovered a few hikes around lakes in the Lake District recently as well, though I can’t remember the names of the lakes right now.
The Grand Canyon 
New Zealand trails
Mental Floss put out a list of "16 Amazing Places to to Visit Via Google Streetview" 
 

GO EXPLORE THE WORLD!

Cheers,
Bri