Travel Phuket by Armchair Using Google Street View
In March 2012 a valuable tool for visitors to Phuket became available – Google Street View maps. This makes it possible to explore the island from anywhere else in the world. The maps are provided by Google and can be enjoyed on a PC or mobile device such as a smart phone. To refer to Google Street View as maps is a huge understatement. It really is like being in Phuket and walking around.
Google Street View Explained
Google Street View is a special type of map that allows users to explore an area while enjoying 360 degree panoramic images. This means that people can get the same view as they might get if they were actually standing on the street. It is possible to move along these maps as if walking, and it is also easy to zoom in on interesting things to get a closer look. The technology that puts together these panoramic images includes a fleet of Google cars that travel around the world. These vehicles have been especially adapted so they can take the needed photographs from different angles as they move along. Google has produced a [marvelous animated video](
to show how these maps work.
Benefits of Google Street View Maps of Phuket
Google street view maps offer many benefits to people including:
- It means that people can have a much clearer idea about what places they want to visit are like. It is the nearest that somebody can get to visiting somewhere without actually going there.
- Photographs and descriptions can be deceiving when it comes to locations. These street view maps actually allow people to really explore the area they wish to visit.
- It is great for people who will be going somewhere using their own transport. They will be able to look for parking and get an idea about how busy the road is.
- Descriptions of hotels can be very misleading – near the beach can mean 1km away up a dirt track. By using street view the tourist can get a much better idea of the local terrain.
- Those individuals who are feeling the post-holiday blues can revisit their favorite locations from their homes. It can feel like they are going for a stroll around Phuket without even leaving their armchair.
- It is possible to check out the different businesses in the area – including those small shops and restaurants that get missed online.
- These maps make it easier to arrange a meeting with somebody else. By taking advantage of the street view there is far less risk of any confusion.
- Some people are not very good with maps and they can easily become confused. This is far less likely to happen with pictures of the street.
- It is possible to travel full routes using these maps, and this means that people can better prepare for the journey.
- Street view maps are available on many mobile devices. This means that people can check out their immediate vicinity without moving – thus preventing them from choosing paths that go nowhere.
- The information available from Street View can lead to new discoveries. Even those individuals who have lived in their neighborhood for decades can make new discoveries in their vicinity using these maps.
- It encourages people to go off the beaten track in Phuket.
- It is just fun to virtually walk around Phuket, and it is more or less completely free.
- There are exciting developments where businesses are working with Google to provide map users with special promotions.
Limitations of Goggle Street View
Google Street View has wonderful capabilities but there are some limitations to the technology including:
- The Google cars are not able to go down small alleyways or explore rough terrain. This means that such areas will often not be covered in the maps.
- Things change all the time and these maps can soon become out of date.
- The maps only give a picture of the time when the photographs were taken. This means that it can give a misleading picture of the amount of traffic congestion on roads.
- A good internet connection is required to enjoy these maps fully. A slow connection will mean that the images constantly become stuck and this can be frustrating.
- There are only a few areas of Thailand where Street View is available but hopefully there will be more locations added in the future. Currently it only covers Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai.