Google Goes Vertical With Breathtaking ‘Street View’ Of El Capitan Rock Wall

Whether it's because you're afraid of heights or simply don't want to tempt the Grim Reaper, maybe rock climbing isn't your thing. That's okay, you don't have to scale a massive wall of rock to enjoy the visuals -- Google and its Street View technology have come to the rescue once again. This time, it's the world's most famous rock wall that's been added to Google's Street View collection, Yosemite's El Capitan.

It's the first-ever vertical Street View collection, and a most appropriate one at that. This sucker scales 3,000 feet high and is a challenge on its on. When you add a camera into the mix with snapshots from various angles, it takes even more concentration, which makes the accomplishment by Google and legendary climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold, and Tommy Caldwell even more impressive.

El Capitan

"Doing anything thousands of feet high on a sheer granite face is complicated, but everyone up there had spent years of their lives on a rope and knew exactly what they were doing. After some testing, we used our tried-and-true climbing gear like cams and ropes to make sure the camera wouldn’t fall to the ground in the middle of our Street View collection," Caldwell explained in a Google blog post.

There are two sets of vertical Street View imagery. One set captures the Yosemite climbers who made this possible. Snapshots of the team were taken at iconic spots on the wall. And the second set is the entire vertical route of "The Nose" on El Capitan.

More than just  a collection of fun photos for computer geeks like myself, this kind of Street View imagery can be used as research by climbers who plan to scale El Capitan. It's like watching a video of the Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina before attempting to tackle the curves on a motorcycle. These sorts of things can help adventurers plan and get a better feel of what they're getting themselves into.

Whatever your reason, you can start your virtual climb here.