For the first time, you can ride a train on Street View. Through a partnership with UNESCO and Rhaetian Railways, we captured 75.8 miles/122 km of the famous UNESCO World Heritage Albula/Bernina railway line with Street View cameras. Starting today, in addition to accessing the imagery from directly within Google Maps, you can also find the collection in our new gallery.

Like our trip to the Amazon, this Swiss mountain journey also began last year, when we attached the Street View trike to the wagon of a Rhaetian Railway train. From the very front of the train, the trike took 360-degree images along the expansive track.

You can watch the video of how we did it here, and for more Street View collections around the world, visit our updated Street View gallery.

Enjoy the ride!

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)


The Official Google Blog

Question by oldirtybabb1985: What is an affordable watch brand or model that uses a swiss automatic movement?
I am looking for an affordable model with a swiss automatic movement. I define affordable (in regard to my current income) as below $ 300. I currently purchased an Invicta 8296 with the Japanese movement which has sparked my interest in mechanical watches and perhaps watch collecting (which is probably not the most affordable hobby ;).

Best answer:

Answer by b3nry
The Bernhardt Binnacle uses an ETA automatic movement and is a well built watch. The watch does not have Swiss made on the dial though, but the movement is Swiss.

http://www.bernhardtwatch.com/binnacle.html

I don’t think you will find many watches for $ 300 with a Swiss movement; $ 700 would definitely open up your options. If you are willing to spend slightly more, the following brands have Swiss movements/are Swiss; Ocean 7, Stowa, Limes and Zeno.

Japanese automatics are very good, you should not overlook them. A Seiko automatic diver is a must in any automatic collection as they are probably the best value watches you can get for the money and have a “bullet proof” movement.

Add your own answer in the comments!

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog)

From the Amazon to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, Street View technology has put imagery of some of the world’s most interesting and significant sites online for everyone to enjoy. Now, for the first time in Google Maps, we’re hitting the train tracks to capture the majesty of the famous railway lines of the Swiss Alps and the surrounding scenery.

In cooperation with Rhaetian Railway, our Street View team has collected images from one of the world’s most scenic railway routes—the Albula-Bernina line in Switzerland—that will soon be live on Google Maps. The picturesque route through the Swiss Alps is one of most famous in the world, winding its way through wild mountain scenery from Thusis, Switzerland; past the resort town of St. Moritz; to its final stop just over the border in Tirano, Italy.


View Albula-Bernina Line in a larger map

A complex system of tunnels, viaducts and galleries allow the railway line to pass through the narrow valleys and climb almost 2,000 meters in altitude. It’s unique to see technology and architecture like this in a natural landscape, and the route is a popular tourist destination offering amazing photography opportunities.

To capture the stunning scenery for Street View, we mounted our trike—a three-wheel pedicab with a camera system on top—to a flatbed at the front of a train. As the train travelled along the line, cameras facing nine different directions captured still photos of the surrounding areas that we’re now stitching together into 360-degree panoramic views. Soon, we’ll publish the imagery on Google Maps for people around the globe to enjoy and experience themselves. The imagery will provide admirers of this route with completely new perspectives, and also help document and preserve this UNESCO World Heritage site.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos from imagery collection day:

To get the latest on Street View go to maps.google.com/streetview.


The Official Google Blog

When developers have the ability to craft applications for multiple platforms with little to no barrier, amazing things can happen. 6Wunderkinder is a prime example of this, as it managed to deliver its popular Wunderlist productivity app to additional platforms in short order thanks to a partnership with Appcelerator. But not every developer has the time (or resources) to forge such a relationship, and thanks to Friday’s release of Nitobi’s PhoneGap 1.0, they don’t have to.

PhoneGap is an HTML5 platform that allows developers to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to create native mobile applications. Now developers can write their app once and deploy it to six major mobile platforms and app stores, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, WebOS, Bada and Symbian. With the open source code receiving contributions from a dedicated community of developers, PhoneGap has increased in both stability and durability – which has played a large part in the project averaging approximately 40,000 downloads per month at the time of writing.

While PhoneGap 1.0 was officially released by Nitobi at PhoneGap Day in Portland, Oregon on Friday, the company is based in Vancouver, BC. In fact, The Next Web Canada covered PhoneGap’s initial launch late last year. But the building of PhoneGap has been an effort that goes well beyond the team at Nitobi, a fact that is not lost on company CEO Andre Charland.

“The community built up around PhoneGap is its greatest asset,” says Charland. “The PhoneGap community identifies common pain points and works together to overcome them.”

A team of senior software engineers at IBM have also been involved in the development of PhoneGap, and the assistance has been a major benefit to the community.

According to Nitobi, today’s major release puts the focus on accessing native device APIs, which is new ground for the web. Other improvements include overall API stability and “pluggable” architecture, W3C DAP API compatibility, contacts API and remote debugging tools. Moreover, a new unifying bridge interface was added that makes adding platforms and platform extensions simpler, along with simplification of the plugin development process.

“Most of these new enhancements come from our community,” said Brian LeRoux, Senior Software Engineer at Nitobi and PhoneGap evangelist. “For instance, PhoneGap developers were calling for a consistent way to make plugins that would run on all major smartphone platforms and this release does that.”

To learn more about what PhoneGap has to offer, check out the introductory video below.

With over 600,000 downloads of the PhoneGap code to date and thousands of apps built using PhoneGap available in mobile app stores and directories, the arrival of version 1.0 may just keep those numbers growing – and spur further growth for the company behind the project as well.

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