Amazing!

I have just taken a hike down Bright Angel trail in the Grand Canyon without leaving home thanks to Google Maps.

The Google Maps people have compiled panoramic imagery of the Grand Canyon, covering 75 miles of trails and roads, creating 9,500 panoramas you and I can access by simply moving our computer mouse to show the angle we wish to see.

I’ve been exploring from my desktop and the system works very well.

These extraordinary panoramas were created with a device Google calls Trekkers, 40-pound backpacks carrying a 15-lens camera system and operated by Android computer. Hikers, on foot, carried Trekkers, exploring the spectacular scenery, capturing  multiple imagery, allowing us to decide what to see.

Here is the Internet address of a promotional film you might enjoy:

Here is the Internet address of the Google blogspot for the project:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/trekking-grand-canyon-for-google-maps.html

What a  contrast to the time when John Wesley Powell maneuvered his boats down the dangerous and unknown Colorado River in 1869 with only a vague idea of where he was going.

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Without Google maps Powell didn’t know if he would perish over a deadly  waterfall or be drowned in the river rapids. The area was a great unknown, totally unmapped and unexplored. Powell’s exploration was one of the great American adventures. That’s why I decided to record it and issue it as an audio-book in my American Adventure Library Audio Book series.

You can get an idea of what Powell went through by accessessing sound clips and viewing rare historical pictures from the Listen To Read Audio Book, “The Exploration of the Canyons of the Colorado” by John Wesley Powell.

Here’s the Internet address of the free sound clips and pictures: http://www.listen2read.com/canyons_of_colorado.aspx

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Audiofile Magazine called the recording :

“A thrilling work which…demonstrates the spoken word at its best. With only his voice to illustrate a series of pictorial journeys, Andre Stojka is… compelling at bringing alive this picture book for the ears.”

A very nice review, which I appreciate.

And here’s another internet address to a wonderful time-lapse film of the Grand Canyon:

http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/worldwonders/grand-canyon/#tab=videos&ql=1

I hope you enjoy the trip.

Andre Stojka