Web

All aboard! Street View takes to the tracks to capture the Swiss Alps

all aboard street view takes to the tracks capture swiss alpsGoogle’s Street View cameras sure do get around. Not content with mere roads, over the years its special 360-degree cameras have been snapping parks, airports, malls, the Great Barrier Reef and, more recently, parts of the Amazon basin. It’s also photographed a naked woman and a urinating man, but we won’t dwell on those kinds of images right now.

Instead, let’s focus on Google’s latest mapping expedition, which involves, for the first time, a ride on a train. A post on Google’s Official Blog on Tuesday gave details about the project, which take viewers on a journey through the beautiful Swiss Alps.

The new images are the result of a partnership with UNESCO and Rhaetian Railway in Switzerland. The journey covers a distance of 78.5 miles (122 km), providing armchair travelers with stunningly beautiful views along the UNESCO World Heritage Albula/Bernina train line.

The project began last year, using the Street View trike to capture the scenery. Fortunately, some poor soul wasn’t forced to cycle the length of the line, dodging oncoming trains along the way. Instead, Google plopped its trike onto the wagon of a Rhaetian Railway train and took its images from there.all aboard street view takes to the tracks capture swiss alps“We’re sure that the virtual visit will inspire people in Switzerland and worldwide to visit us and take a ride between snow-covered mountain tops and palm trees,“ said Reto Schmid, head of e-business and distributions at Rhaetian Railway. Palm trees?!? Yes, apparently they have palm trees in snow-covered Switzerland.

The images can be viewed in a special gallery here or by accessing Google Maps in the usual way.

In other train-based Street View news, Google said earlier this month that it would also begin mapping a number of rail stations in London, UK.

Thirteen of the capital’s busiest stations will be incorporated into Street View, including London Bridge, Liverpool Street, Victoria and Paddington. Google said the project would be of particular benefit to first-time visitors to the stations, who would have the opportunity to research the stations’ respective layout and facilities in advance. To capture the images, Google’s camera was mounted on a trolley and rolled about each station concourse.

“This is a great idea and it is good to see the rail industry taking an innovative approach to improving passenger information,” David Sidebottom, director of Passenger Focus, told the Evening Standard newspaper.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

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!
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Photography

Going somewhere? Capture more than your phone can with the best travel cams

Hitting the road or doing some globetrotting this year? Bring along the right camera to capture those once-in-a-lifetime vacation memories. Here's a list of some of our current favorites.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Computing

Miss AIM? These are the best desktop chat clients to use today

Desktop chat clients are far from dead. In fact, they're currently enjoying something of a renaissance. So, which one should you be using? We take a peek at the best chat clients for teams, gamers and mainstream web surfers.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Mobile

Apple Maps boosts Flyover locations, indoor mall maps, and more

In a boost for Apple Maps, the tech company has recently added more than 50 new locations for Flyover, the feature that offers spectacular 3D photo views of particular cities and famous landmarks around the world.
Mobile

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Business

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.