Google StreetView rides the Swiss rails

world | Oct 20, 2011 | By Martin Barillas

Google Street View technology has put imagery of some of the world’s most interesting and significant sites online. So now Google has now captured the beauty and majesty of the Swiss Alps from its winding train tracks and switchbacks.

Cooperating with  Rhaetian Railways of Switzerland, a Google Street View team  collected images from the Albula-Bernina line in Switzerland that will soon be live on Google Maps. The route winds through the Swiss Alps and is one of most famous in the world, passing through alpine forests from Thusis, Switzerland and past the resort town of St. Moritz, then to its final stop just over the border in Tirano, Italy.

A complex system of tunnels, viaducts and galleries allow the railway line to pass through the narrow valleys and climb almost 2,000 meters in altitude. It’s unique to see technology and architecture like this in a natural landscape, and the route is a popular tourist destination offering amazing photography opportunities.

To capture the stunning scenery for Street View, the team mounted on a high-tech tricycle —a three-wheel pedicab with a camera system on top—to a flatbed at the front of a train. As the train travelled along the line, cameras facing nine different directions captured still photos of the surrounding areas that will be made into 360-degree panoramic views.  Google will soon publish the imagery on Google Maps for people around the globe to enjoy and experience themselves. The imagery will provide admirers of this route with completely new perspectives, and also help document and preserve this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Info:  maps.google.com/streetview.
 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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