Google shrunk its Street View cameras to give us a close look at this stunning model world

If you’re a fan of amazing model worlds, you’ll love this gorgeous Google-produced video, where a tiny Google Street View car tours a miniature, stunningly intricate, hyper-realistic model town. It was filmed at the Miniatur Wunderland display in Hamburg, Germany — an incredible model railway exhibit that’s currently the largest of its kind in the world.

It’s not just a birds-eye view either, we’re actually transported down into it. To make such views possible, Google worked with Unilabs to make tiny cameras that were fixed to the model cars, trains, and even boats in the Miniatur Wunderland world, capturing all that went on there in beautiful detail. The video then enhances some of the models using subtle CGI, bringing it to life in a surprisingly natural way.

Made up of 13,000 kilometers (that’s just over 8,000 miles) of railway track, and home to 200,000 model inhabitants, the display captures life in various German cities and real locations — from winter sports in the Alps to aircraft taking off at Hamburg airport. The team won’t stop in Germany either, and will shortly be including parts of Italy into the display, before spreading out to include the U.K., France, Africa, and parts of America.

The video is worth watching more than once. Like viewing the model world in real life, more detail is revealed the longer you look. It’s a modeler’s dream, and aside from the video, Google has made it easy to explore the layout in picture form. Visit this website to see key spots from the entire map in stunning high-definition, 360-degree images. It’s often difficult to tell if you’re looking at a model, or the real thing.

If you’d like to see it in person, the exhibit is open all year round, and the opening hours are available on the official website. Google’s Street View cameras have been used on the tops of mountains and in the depths of the ocean, but this is the first time we’re visiting streets we’d never be able to walk along, even if we were stood right next to them.

Computing

The web has grown up, but browsers haven’t. It’s time for a reboot

The web has changed a lot over the years, and so has the way we use it. The thing that hasn’t changed? The web browser, the tool every one of us depends on. Here's why it's well past time for new ideas.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Hi-viz bike reflectors and a tiny flashlight

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.
Photography

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Photography

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.
Computing

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.
Photography

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.
Photography

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.
Photography

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.