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Tech Report: Google Street View Takes On California Parks

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Google's Street View function will now include virtual tours of five of California's state parks. It's a move that may promote enthusiasm for exploring the outdoors.

I actually took a virtual tour and walked down a path by the giant redwoods in Redwood National Park. I was able to check out Yosemite's Inspiration Point and then I went to Joshua Tree National Park all without leaving my PC, because Google has added Street View to these and other parks.

The company has gone ahead and mounted cameras on backpacks and even on skis in some cases. They've gotten off the beaten track and are going into parks and trails in an attempt to give us a wider view of our environment.

There's a lot of irony here in using this technology to enjoy the great outdoors, but as we know, there's nothing compared to actually walking through the redwoods; smelling and feeling it.

KCBS' Tech Report:

Google does plan on expanding this nature Street View to other parks throughout the country considering they have helicopters and so many other ways of recording the views with their 360 degree cameras.

A spokesman with Yosemite had been interviewed a while back about what he thinks of all of this and he said he thinks it will actually encourage people that become intrigued by the pictures of different parks.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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