Earlier this year we announced that Street View on Google Maps was coming to Botswana. Now anyone can travel virtually to Botswana via Street View on Google Maps and explore the country’s unique scenery and world-renowned game reserves. Following the launch of Street View in South Africa just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Botswana will become only the second African country to be on Street View.
Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps that is already available in more than 30 countries around the world. It allows users to virtually explore and navigate a neighbourhood through panoramic street-level images. It is also available in Google Earth and on Google Maps for Mobile. For a demo on how Street View works, start here.
In areas where Street View is available, you can access street-level imagery by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street.
Take an online safari around some of Botswana’s most unique places, by exploring salt pans like the Makgadikgadi Pan, or spot wild animals in the famous Chobe National Park, home to the largest concentration of African elephants in the world.
Botswana is well known for housing the world’s largest inland river delta, the Okavango, which spans more than 16,000 square kilometres. The delta is fed by the Okavango River and is an aquatic wilderness teeming with rich wildlife. From today, anyone can experience this dynamic backdrop in Street View.
With around 70% of the country being covered by the Kalahari desert, Botswana has diverse terrain including the delta and wide open grassland and savannah areas. Depending on which kind of terrain Pegman falls on, you can navigate around some of the most remote areas of the country.
You may prefer to wander the streets of capital city Gaborone, or immerse yourself in what the area has to offer on its outskirts. You can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, or get a helping hand with geography homework. House-hunters can save time by exploring the neighbourhoods of potential properties in advance, and also by looking up driving directions. Businesses can also benefit from the Street View technology by embedding Google Maps directly into their site for free, helping them to promote a chain of hotels, B&Bs, or raise awareness about a local library or cafe.
Ory Okolloh, Policy Manager, Google Sub-Saharan Africa said, “Whether you are planning a safari, doing a homework assignment on Botswana, or promoting your local business, Street View will allow you to experience a slice of the country. We hope to add more cultures, landscapes and sites as Street View continues to expand to new places.”
Street View was first launched on the African continent in South Africa, just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Some highlights from Street View in South Africa include imagery of dozens of cities and towns, the World Cup soccer stadia, heritage sites such as Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Kruger National Park and the Cape Winelands.