July 12, 2012 at 8:49 PM ET
Google's Street View is great for things like finding a house or scoping out an area of town you've never been to, but the company has been doing other things with the technology. They've gone down the Amazon, documented devastation in Japan, and now they've traveled through California's scenic national parks.
Yosemite, Redwood, Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Death Valley national parks have all gotten the Street View treatment, and the pictures are quite spectacular. Not everyone has a chance to drive down Highway 1 or through the grand Redwood forests, and these panoramic views are a great alternative to being there.
Google says it also refreshed much of the state's "regular" Street View images, which residents will surely appreciate. The blog post announcing the updates has links to some nice viewpoints the cars encountered, and they appear to have had excellent weather, so if you're looking to take a virtual road trip, head over to the Google Blog for links and further information.
Devin Coldewey is acontributing writer for msnbc.com. His personal website iscoldewey.cc.