Dream of traveling the legendary Tran-Siberian railway, but can never quite get a trip together? Well, now you can do it from the comfort of your living room. Google Maps offers a virtual journey of the 5,752 mile trek from Moscow to Vladivostok.
Via The Guardian,
"The multi-platform portal by Google Russia and Russian railways allows you to watch the view in real time as it unfolds from the train's window. Simultaneously you can plot the locomotive's virtual progress eastwards on a Google map, looking at the satellite view or tracking the actual terrain and mountains.
The video footage covers the whole six-day journey. You can choose different sounds to accompany it: the rumble of wheels, sugary Russian pop tunes, or the evocative playing of a balalaika. Alternatively, you can listen to readings of Russian classics (in Russian) of Leo Tolstoy's 1,400-page War and Peace or Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls."
The video journey is geo-tagged, allowing the trip to be tracked on a map in real time, showing how far you've traveled and how much longer there is to go. The viewer is, of course, free to skip ahead to points of interest.
Google began filming out of train windows in August 2009, allotting 30 days (instead of the usual six days it takes to reach Vladivostok) to capture the 150 hours of scenery used in the YouTube videos.
Watch the first video in the series below or begin your own journey at Google Maps.
The Guardian breaks it down in numbers:
- 5,753 Miles from Moscow to Vladivostok
- 2 Continents crossed, Europe and Asia
- 7 Time zones crossed
- 6 Days a one-way journey time takes without stopping
- 87 Russian cities en route
- 30 Days taken by film crew to shoot continuous view from window
- 150 Hours of high-definition video footage available for virtual travellers
- 6509 Roubles for a basic single one-way ticket.