You can now experience the River Thames in London right from the comfort of your own home, thanks to Google Street View.
Google has mapped out a 30-mile route of the River Thames in 360-degree views, making it the first river in the UK and Europe to be captured by the company's Trekker camera. Google Street View also recorded historical landmarks along the Thames, including the centre of the capital, Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Canary Wharf and the Millennium Dome - now the O2 Arena.
The Port of London Authority, which oversees navigational safety on 95 miles of the Thames, invited Google to chart the river upon noticing that Google Street View had successfully captured places like Moscow’s Red Square, Galapagos Islands, Barrier Reef, South Pole, Grand Canyon and Eiffel Tower, to name a few.
Google UK mounted a Trekker camera - a 4ft-high, 40lb backpack with a 15-angle lens - to the PLA’s hydrographic surveying vessel. The Trekker snapped panoramic views every 2.5 seconds, and then stitched all the data together for streamlined viewing. The completed imagery is now live on Google Street View via Google Maps.
"The Thames is the central tributary that Londoners like myself and tourists like to navigate by," said Ed Parsons, Geospatial technologist at Google UK. "The river also offers some of the most scenic and iconic views of London from arguably the best vantage points the city has to offer, and we are thrilled to be able to work with the PLA to share this with users from around the world through Street View."
Street View has recorded more than 3,000 cities across 53 countries including parts of the Arctic and Antarctica. Google said users from across the world view Street View imagery millions of times every day.
You can also check out the River Thames gallery on the Google Maps View page.