Google Earth is adding live video to its recently released “Voyager” storytelling platform, allowing users to see what is happening around the world in real time.
Its first trip is to Katmai National Park in Alaska, where brown bears are coming back from a six-month hibernation to catch salmon.
The Mountain View giant teamed with Explore.org to set up five 1080p cameras around the park in areas where bears are most likely to hunt. One camera is at a waterfall where bears are snatching fish out of the air, another is positioned under water, two are located along riverbeds, and the fifth is 2,440 feet high on Dumpling Mountain.
To watch the live streams, open Google Earth on any device and press the Voyager icon, which looks like the wheel of a ship. You will then be asked to choose which story you’d like to view. If the story you chose features a live stream, you’ll see a tab on the right side of the screen. To watch live, press on the play icon in the top corner. To switch locations, you can either use the arrow keys on the bottom of the live stream tab, or press on the red pins located around the map. The best part is that you don’t need to catch the action as it happens. Google stores the last four hours of a stream right on its video player.
The Katmai National Park stream is the only Voyager story that features a live stream, but Google and Explore.org plan to add more in the future.
“So few of us have the privilege of experiencing what I like to call ‘nature’s cathedrals,’ and now through these live cams, all of us can learn, grow, and assist researchers on a daily basis in some of the wild kingdom’s most remote and unexplored regions of the world,” Charles Weingarten, founder of Explore.org, wrote in a blog post.
The live streams are the newest edition to Google’s revamped satellite mapping platform, which earlier this year gained 3D maps, web browser support, and Knowledge Cards.
H/T The Next Web