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Google brings Street View to the zoo

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Company adds pandas and polar bears to ever-expanding maps service

google street view zoo
google street view zoo

Google this week added several major zoos to its Street View and Maps services, allowing users to get up close and personal with exotic animals from around the world. The company announced the new features in a blog post published Wednesday, touting them as a way to see rare wildlife "right from your living room."

Among the most notable additions are China's Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding — home to more than 30 percent of the world's endangered Giant Panda species — and the San Diego Zoo in California. Other US locations include zoos in Atlanta, Chicago, and Houston, in addition to several parks in Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. These zoos join a handful of other wildlife parks already available on Street View, including Spain's Zoo Aquarium de Madrid and Parc Zoologic de Barcelona.

This week's announcement is just the latest addition to the ever-expanding Street View service. Earlier this summer, the company brought its panoramic cameras to the top of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, before traveling to the abandoned Japanese island of Hashima, Japan, which figured prominently in the film 007: Skyfall.