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Google Street View Drops You Into the Action of the Iditarod

While many of us are familiar with dog sled racing thanks to classic books like Stone Fox and Winterdance, few people have had the opportunity to see what life actually looks like on the trail during the sport's most famous race, the Iditarod in Alaska, until now. As Jalopnik reports, Google—with the help of former Iditarod winner Dean Osmar—has created a way for anyone with an Internet connection to view the day-to-day experiences of a musher during the 1049-mile long race.

By developing a special Street View Trekker for Osmar to wear on his back, Google effectively turned the man into one of its Street View vehicles for the 2015 race. According to TechCrunch, there were a few hiccups during the trip, as Osmar was forced to deal with poor weather conditions and several sled crashes. The Iditarod Google Street View website created for the project includes a gallery of screenshots taken at various points in the race, with each image linking back to a point on the map that viewers can dive into and explore. Some of the shots are blurred, while others show just the ground or runaway sleds, but those add a bit of authenticity to the project.

Check out a few of the images below, and click through to the Street View site for more.

Images via Iditarod Google Street View

[h/t Jalopnik]

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iStock
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Planning a Trip? These Are the Best Times to Beat the Crowds in Every Country
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iStock

If you’re in the midst of mapping out your next big vacation, you may want to consider more than just which cities have the best weather during the summer. Thrillist found this map made by LastMinute.com that details the high, low, and in-between seasons in countries throughout the world, showing when you’ll be elbowing a million other tourists to get to hotspots and when you’ll be the only visitors in town.

The GIF is color-coded to show when the high (red), low (green), and in-between (yellow) seasons fall for travel in each country throughout the world. The timing varies for every region, with some European countries seeing high levels of tourists for more than half the year and in-between levels most of the rest of the year, while other countries (particularly cold ones like Canada) have relatively long low-tourist seasons.

Don’t immediately book a flight for December in Moscow though—there’s often a very good reason why people stay away from particular destinations during certain months (like average temperatures that are below freezing). Indonesia doesn’t see many tourists between October and May because much of that time period constitutes monsoon season. Plenty of countries don’t get tourists in the dead of winter. But if you are willing to tough out or risk bad weather, you’ll be rewarded by fewer crowds and likely better deals.

[h/t Thrillist]

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Land Cover CCI, ESA
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Afternoon Map
European Space Agency Releases First High-Res Land Cover Map of Africa
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Land Cover CCI, ESA

This isn’t just any image of Africa. It represents the first of its kind: a high-resolution map of the different types of land cover that are found on the continent, released by The European Space Agency, as Travel + Leisure reports.

Land cover maps depict the different physical materials that cover the Earth, whether that material is vegetation, wetlands, concrete, or sand. They can be used to track the growth of cities, assess flooding, keep tabs on environmental issues like deforestation or desertification, and more.

The newly released land cover map of Africa shows the continent at an extremely detailed resolution. Each pixel represents just 65.6 feet (20 meters) on the ground. It’s designed to help researchers model the extent of climate change across Africa, study biodiversity and natural resources, and see how land use is changing, among other applications.

Developed as part of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Land Cover project, the space agency gathered a full year’s worth of data from its Sentinel-2A satellite to create the map. In total, the image is made from 90 terabytes of data—180,000 images—taken between December 2015 and December 2016.

The map is so large and detailed that the space agency created its own online viewer for it. You can dive further into the image here.

And keep watch: A better map might be close at hand. In March, the ESA launched the Sentinal-2B satellite, which it says will make a global map at a 32.8 feet-per-pixel (10 meters) resolution possible.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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