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Virtually climb El Capitan with Google's first vertical Street View

Virtually climb El Capitan with Google's first vertical Street View
Lynn Hill is one of the climbers featured in Google's vertical Street View of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. (Google)

Google Maps has announced its first vertical Street View, giving people the opportunity to virtually climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

"People around the world will now be able to virtually experience the unique act of ascending a 3,000-foot cliff by going on a self-directed, vertical climb," the Mountain View, Calif., company said. "Climbers" can make their way up the Nose route and part of the Dawn Wall.

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To collect the imagery for Google Maps, the company worked with photographers and partnered with climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell.

"Yosemite's driven so much of my life that I'm excited to be able to share it with the world through my eyes," Caldwell said. "These 360-degree panoramic images are the closest thing I've ever witnessed to actually being thousands of feet up a vertical rock face -- better than any video or photo. But my hope is that this new imagery will inspire you to get out there and see Yosemite for yourself."

To check out more of Caldwell's experience working with Google, including the challenges of capturing the difficult ascent up the famous rock face, you can read his blog post here.

For now, vertical Street View is available only for El Capitan, but Google spokeswoman Susan Cadrecha said the company would "continue to try and expand the limits -- and reach new heights -- for Street View moving forward."

Follow Andrea Chang on Twitter

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