Driving into our 55th country and updating Russian imagery

Friday, January 31, 2014 | 10:00 AM

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With the eyes of winter sports fans turning to Russia, we thought this would be a good time to add more towns, cities and picturesque sights of this sprawling country to Google Maps. From today, Street View is available in Vladivostok, Yakutsk, Irkutsk and, of course, Sochi.

Winter lovers also are treated, for the first time, to images of mountainous Slovenia. This gorgeous Central European country becomes our 55th country to launch Street View.


Map of some of the newly available areas to explore in Russia

In Russia, our drivers reached the far away corners of the world's largest country. Users can take a walk around Yakutsk, the city with the greatest seasonal temperature swings on Earth (the lowest recorded winter temperature was −64.4°C with the highest summer peak hitting 38.4°C).


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Explore the city center of Yakutsk

In total, Street View cars covered 300,000 kilometers in Russia in 2013, an area housing almost 60 percent of the population. We mapped the biggest Russian island of Sakhalin and the Russkiy Bridge, the world's longest cable-stayed bridge. While snapping the M52 highway, also known as Chuya Highway or Chuysky Trakt, Street View drivers met indigenous tribes.

The mapping team faced unusual challenges. When taking imagery of the Tobolsk monastery the drivers spent two days praying with the Monastery Abbot. In order to get to some remote spots, Street View cars were transported in containers on tracks and boats. There was even place for romance: while shooting Sakhalin, one driver met his future wife!


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The Tobolsk Monastery in Tyumen Oblast

We also are launching our imagery in Slovenia. Virtual tourists now can explore cities like Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, Kranj, and Koper, as well as beautiful places like Bohinj Lake or the sea town of Piran.


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Congress Square, Ljubljana

Enjoy some of these amazing sights on StreetView’s journey eastward through Europe.

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