Google announced Thursday its biggest update yet to its Google Maps Street View feature.
CNN reports that the update adds more than 250,000 miles in 17 different countries and also includes an increase in the amount of landmarks users can tour both inside and out. The Street View feature on Google Maps lets users see a 360-degree view of various locations from street level as opposed to the traditional overhead view of typical satellite maps.
Ulf Spitzer, Street View Program Manager, broke the news about the update on his blog.
“Today we’re making our Street View coverage more comprehensive than ever before by launching our biggest ever update — doubling our number of special collections and updating over 250,000 miles of roads around the world,” Spitzer wrote. “We’re increasing Street View coverage in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. And we’re launching special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico, among others.”
The special collections include Russia’s Catherine Palace and Ferapontov monastery, and even Shakespearean play Hamlet‘s fictional Elsinore Castle, better known by its real name, Kronborg Castle, in Denmark is on the list. ZDNet reports that the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is on the list of places included as well, making Street View a sort of digital tourist attraction.
Google uses everything from cars to snowmobiles and even backpackers on foot outfitted with custom cameras to capture 360-degree images for Street View. Google Street View has accumulated more than 20 petabytes of data. To put that in perspective, IndustryGamers.com reported that World of Warcraft utilizes 1.3 petabytes of storage to operate its game worldwide.