Emily Badger is a former staff writer at CityLab. Her work has previously appeared in Pacific Standard, GOOD, The Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
The service has started mapping airports and other transportation hubs.
Google Street View clearly wants to go everywhere you want to go, which is a universe of places much larger than what can be seen from, well, the street. Increasingly, the mapping behemoth's mounted cameras are wandering into historic sites and office buildings, down hiking trails, through national parks, and onto beaches.
Which prompts the question: Where do you want to go this week?
For millions of Americans on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, the answer is either the airport or the train station. And so, with savvy timing, Google unveiled this morning its first foray into capturing transportation hubs. The initial collection comes from outside the U.S. and includes 16 international airports, several dozen train and subway stations, and a cable car station in Hong Kong.
Google has plans to map more transportation locations in the future, including in the Americas (we're guessing, though, that the company will have to contend with the TSA). For now, if you're flying from JFK to London's Gatwick, you can at least scope out your destination here:
Or if you're traveling through the Roma Termini train station in Italy:
Planning to be in Osaka? Here's what you'll find in the Yotsubashi subway station:
It takes a pretty anal traveler to want to digitally tour a far-flung airport before flying there. But this project will probably also appeal to transportation nerds who have no plans to go to Osaka at all.
Top image from Mexico City's international airport.