Tag Archives: Switzerland

Street View reaches new heights

Street View cars, Trekkers and trikes are always striving to unveil new informative and entertaining views of the world, making Google Maps more useful and comprehensive. In recent weeks, we have launched two exciting European projects — one in Switzerland, the other in Russia — which literally take the images to a new velocity and a new height!
StreetView Trekker climbs the Swiss Alps
Together with the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) and the Swiss Tourism Board (MySwitzerland.com), we launched a contest called “Queen of the Alps.” High in the Swiss Alps, far from any road or other buildings, are picturesque huts used to spend a night by farmers and vacationers.

It often takes a full day hike to reach these out of the way huts. We ran online vote to find the favorite Swiss hut, promising to film the choice for Street View. The Swiss Alpine Club’s Lauteraarhütte-SAC in the canton of Berne (region “Grimselgebiet”) won. It took our Trekkers a five hour hike up the Grimsels Hospiz to capture this exciting imagery.

The interior of the winning alpine hut
In Russia, the site of our Street View shoot was much more accessible but just as exciting - the Winter Olympic venues in Sochi. Stroll around the Fischt stadium which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies. Walk on the Ice Palace "Iceberg" and visit the Olympic Village, where your favorite team stayed.

In particular, take a look at the new Formula 1 track in Sochi. It is located in the city’s Olympic Park and is the only Formula 1 track in Russia. From October 10-12, Russia will host its first World Championship race.

The new Sochi Formula 1 Track on StreetView
Before the event, we thought it would be cool for racing fans to test out the new track. The new Street View imagery allows anyone, anywhere to preview the route. Take a spin.

Inviting you to take a Romanesque journey

More than a millenium before the birth of the European Union, a style of architecture and art spread across the continent. It was called Romanesque and it emerged almost simultaneously in Spain, France, Italy, and Germany with sufficient unity to be considered Europe’s first common international art style.

Celebrating this achievement, our Cultural Institute just has launched launch a new, virtual exhibition, called “Origins of Romanesque: the Birth of Europe.” Curated by the Santa María la Real Foundation, it presents 26 iconic expressions of Romanesque beauty, explaining their social, political and cultural context. More than 100 guests attended the launch event in Madrid, featuring the president of the Foundation, José María Perez Peridis and the President of National Heritage as speakers.

Monestaries and abbeys led the way in spreading Romanesque constructions. In Spain, Romanesque cathedrals, churches, monasteries, cloisters and chapels mark the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrammage route.

Elsewhere in Europe, abbeys in Fulda, Lorsch, St. Gallen and Bobbio arose in the 11th century and became beacons for the new style, as did Europe’s first universities, beginning with Bologna in 1088.

Beside exploring Romanesque buildings, the new online exhibition includes drawings, photographs, films and video about Romanesque Europe.

We hope this present exhibition is only the first of a series, exploring other a series of exhibitions on life and art in Europe from Roman to modern times. Our goal is help everyone learn about and enjoy the beauties from the past.