Long before "El Cap" became the easier way to pronounce Apple's upcoming operating system, it was the affectionately shortened moniker of Yosemite's most famous and respected rock climbing peak: El Capitan. Today, Google launches a project that takes Street View vertical, as each image was taken as a climber ascended the peak.
For the first time, users can now scale El Capitan in all three dimensions in Street View. On the heels of Street View Oceans, Google is quickly turning Street View into much more than a convenient way to explore your next destination or your relatives' new neighborhoods. Now, Street View enables viewers to witness something much more akin to what photography has always allowed its users to see: the true beauty of the world, many parts of which are not always accessible to everyone.
Interestingly, the world is used to incredibly flat, daylight images that make up the world depicted in Street View. However, seeing as it takes a good portion of the day (or as little as five hours for at least one person — watch the video), this is one of the first chances we have to see Street View take on the hues of sunset under constantly and rapidly changing light. While the effect can be jarring (switching from one location to another just a dozen meters away can result in completely shifted lighting, which causes a break in the expected continuity of the experience), it does give for a beautiful and slightly more realistic view of the world.
Check out the new Street View of El Capitan and the amazing video featuring some of the most daring free climbers in the world.