This morning I discovered that Google has finally released its Street View tool for a number of British locations, including both London and Oxford. This is the add-on to Google maps that lets you explore a three-dimensional view of selected locations. It isn’t a fully immersive environment and there are plenty of dead ends and frustrations (eg. I can’t trace my cycle route to work because that takes me cross-country for a section) but it is another step on from the satellite view as a tool for exploring new locations.
To use it, visit Google Maps and look for the little yellow man near the top left of the map. Drag the figure over the map and drop him on one of the areas highlighted in blue to explore there. For example, how about starting at The Plain and strolling across Magdalen Bridge and into the heart of Oxford?
Next time I get an invitatation to visit a new location round the city, this is the tool I am going to use to make my preparations.
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