Ever wish you could take your class to impressive landmarks around the country or world?
Google Maps Street View makes many of those visits possible virtually — and for free.
Street View is an immersive panoramic image experience through Google Maps. It lets you feel like you’re right on the street of many locations around the globe. Plus, you can virtually walk around, look up, down and around, and zoom in on items of interest.
Accessing Street View is easy:
- On a computer or Chromebook, grab the yellow “peg man” in the bottom right corner of Google Maps (maps.google.com). You’ll know there’s a Street View available if the area turns blue when you grab the “peg man”.
- On a mobile device, download the Street View app:
You don’t have to see the world just from the street. Many locations around the world have first-person virtual tours available. Check if they’re available by finding a location in Google Maps, zooming in and grabbing the peg man to see if available locations light up in blue.
Here are 20 of them worth checking out — 10 from the United States and 10 from beyond. Click the link for each one to go to the Street View experience in Google Maps to check the location out yourself.
1. Churchill Downs — Let students take a lap around the legendary horse-racing track, see the view from the most exclusive seats and tour the rest of the campus.
2. Washington Monument — Take a walk around one of Washington D.C.’s most famous and visited monuments. And when I say take a walk, I mean take a walk — in a large circumference around the monument and down the National Mall (still inside Street View!) to see it from many angles.
3. Alcatraz Island — Take students inside the infamous prison in San Francisco Bay for an informal tour. Look inside cells and read informational posters for more details.
4. The White House — Wander around the seat of the United States government. See the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Center Hall (pictured), the Vermeil Room, part of the East Colonnade and more.
5. 9/11 Memorial — See the names of those lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy in New York at the official memorial site.
6. American Airlines Center — Ever wonder what it’s like to see an NBA game from a luxury suite? Walk that level of the stadium and walk into several suites for a first-hand look.
7. Metropolitan Museum of Art — Stroll around almost every part of this famous museum in New York City, checking out sculpture, paintings and more.
8. Central Park — Since you were in the area visiting the Metropolitan Museum of art, go next door and tour this popular outdoor area in New York City, walking by the Arthur Ross Pinetum and the Shakespeare Garden.
9. Yellowstone National Park — Walk the trails to see waterfalls and scenic wooded areas. Check out Old Faithful (pictured) from the view of a tourist, and then walk around the area.
10. Grand Canyon — Take a trip down the Colorado River or take in the picturesque scenes from the top.
11. Emirates Airbus A380-800 — See what life’s like aboard a plane with a free lounge with food, showers for first class and personal entertainment.
12. CERN — Ever consider walking around the largest particle physics lab in the world? There are parts of CERN that have Street View that you can virtually tour. (I did, and I didn’t know what anything was, but maybe you will!)
13. Alhambra — As a Spanish teacher, this is on my “bucket list” of places to visit. The Alhambra is a gorgeous palace and fortress in Granada, Spain. There’s a reason for the local saying: “There’s nothing worse in life than being blind in Granada.”
15. Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) — The most famous mosque in Turkey (known as the Blue Mosque for blue tiles adorning the inside) is visible from many parts of Istanbul and is a top world tourist destination.
16. Royal Opera House — Visit and walk around the home of the Royal Opera, Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in London. See common areas as well as the performance areas.
17. Palace at Versailles — See the Hall of Mirrors, the site of many a luxurious event by King Louis XIV in Versailles, France.
18. Eiffel Tower — Go directly to the observation deck of this famous spire to see the city and the Seine River from above, or see what a typical tourist’s day is in Paris.
19. The Acropolis Museum — See the spectacular views of this world landmark through the enormous windows of the museum. Plus, check out rare artifacts first hand.
20. Madrid Zoo — See the animals and the sights at the zoo in this world capital.
Want to deliver Street View experiences to your students? There are a few ways:
- Find the Street View you want to show them (and point yourself in the direction you want them to see) and copy the URL (link) from your browser. Share that with students and they’ll be taken to the same spot where you were.
- Use Instant Street View (InstantStreetView.com) to help you find Street Views a little easier AND to display them to students.
- Embed an interactive street view on a webpage. Once you’ve found your location, click the three dots button next to the name of the location in the top left of the screen. Choose “Embed” to copy HTML code to paste in your site.
What locations are you most interested in? How could you use this in your class?