Google Maps hits the slopes at 38 ski resorts

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Members of the Google Maps team must have gone skiing over the winter break because Google has added run and lift maps for 38 ski resorts across the United States and Canada to Google Maps, the company announced in a blog post Wednesday.

The new run and lift maps are available in the browser version of Google Maps, as well as in Google’s Android and iOS Maps apps. The new maps should be a great tool for skiers, whether they are checking out the slopes ahead of time or trying to find the best way down the mountain on-the-go.

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The maps show ski lifts as red dotted lines, and ski runs as green, blue, and black solid lines. The ski run colors correspond to the run difficulty ratings — green is the easiest, blue is intermediate, while black runs are for experts only.

The list of resorts includes Squaw Valley, Breckenridge, Whistler Blackcomb, and Big Sky. Google calls this list a “growing” one in its blog post, and states that it plans to add more resorts in the future. Which makes sense, of course, because what Google Maps team member doesn’t want to go on a nice ski vacation for work?

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The team is also offering Street View for select slopes, including WhistlerPeak, CrystalMountain, and DeerValley. There are 13 resorts with Street View capabilities. This is a pretty neat feature, since it lets non-skiers experience the slopes to a certain degree.

Google’s view of the slopes looks pretty neat. When you drag your Street View dude onto one of the trails, he sprouts skis and a ski mask. At the moment, it looks like Google doesn’t employ any expert-level skiers — none of the maps offer Slope View for black diamond or double black diamond trails.

If you’re not a skier, or you’re not particularly interested in snow and mountains, you can check out Google’s other cool Street View projects, such as this armchair trek of the Grand Canyon, or this underwater tour of the Great Barrier Reef.

This story, "Google Maps hits the slopes at 38 ski resorts" was originally published by TechHive.

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