Summary: Google recently began adding ski trail maps to standard Google Maps (as well as in the satellite view) for some of the nation’s most popular ski resorts. Now skiers and snowboarders can scope out the trail layout before booking vacation plans or as they’re riding the lift up to the top of the mountain. Additionally, Google has started adding 360 “street view” images to some resorts, as well as some of the highest peaks on the planet.
From time to time I like to highlight cool new Google Maps features I stumble upon, like the indoor maps we talked about earlier in the month. Obviously indoor maps are particularly useful for shoppers, but Google makes an effort to cater to the needs of all types of demographic groups – including outdoor adventure seekers! With the recent addition of ski trail maps, skiers and snowboarders can virtually visit the slopes from the comfort of home while planning a trip or on the mobile phone while riding the lift to the top of the mountain:
With 38 new run and lift maps for some of the most popular mountains across the US and Canada, Google Maps is your “go to” mountain guide. Whether you’re shredding Squaw Valley, Big Sky, or Okemo, Google Maps are a comprehensive, accurate and easy way to find the best route down the hill.
They go on to list and link to all 38. Follow the link to go check them all out.
Killington Ski Trail Map
Not all ski resort trail maps have been added to Google yet, and in fact it was just last month that they just announced those first 38, but it appears that they’re already quietly adding others. In the announcement, they only mention 2 ski resorts in Vermont, neither of which are Killington, however I recently stumbled on Killington’s trail map, which you can see here:
Google Maps also allows you view ski trail maps overlayed on top of satellite imagery as well. Below you can see how the satellite versions of the trail maps look on the two VT resorts Google did mention in their announcement – Okemo and Stowe:
Okemo Ski Trail Map
Stowe Ski Trail Map
If you’re not an avid skier or snowboarder, you might be wondering what the different colors and dotted lines represent. Google sheds a little light:
Power up Google Maps on your Android device or iPhone, and the mountain information you need is right there. Blue, green and black runs are shown as solid colored lines and ski lifts are red dotted lines.
Beyond the 3 trail maps embedded above, I’ve discovered that several other Vermont ski resort trail maps have been added as well. Using the list of resorts in Ski Vermont’s resort finder, I did some random checks and about half of those that I checked had Google trail maps, including Stratton, Mad River Glen, and even Bolton. This is obviously anecdotal, but it appears that Google is adding these trail maps rather quickly.
Ski Resort & Slope Google Street Views
Aerial views of trails not enough for ya? You may be in luck, because Google’s Street Views cameras are starting to make their way to the mountains as well. Take a look at this example from Whistler, BC in Canada:
Unfortunately they’ve only covered about a dozen locations thus far, none of which are in Vermont but hopefully that number will grow quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have photographs from others already but just haven’t had the chance to stitch them together and upload them.
Mount Everest Google Street Views
In addition to U.S. ski resorts, Google announced yesterday that they had recently sent their street view cameras to some of the highest peaks all around the world and just posted them online. Follow that second link to view all 21 of these amazing 360 views, including this one from Base Camp at Everest:
And lest you think Google is all about mountain tops – Google even took a dip in the ocean to capture “Street Views” of 6 of the planet’s coral reefs. ICYMI, here’s the blog post from last September that announced the reef project, which includes this view underwater view from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia:
Tell us what your favorite ski trail map or outdoor street view is in the comments below. Did you find anything we neglected to mention in this post?