Google on Tuesday quietly introduced a feature on Google Maps that lets you visit Mars and the moon without ever needing to leave your desk chair.
No, the company didn’t send its Street View cars into outer space, but Google still provides plenty of geographical details about both planetoids you probably weren’t expecting.
Some of these features were previously available on Google Earth, as 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall points out, but this is the first time they’re hitting Google’s mapping and navigation app for consumers.
The feature is easy enough to use. Simply visit Google Maps, click the “Earth” button in the bottom left corner, and zoom out. Once you see a full view of the Earth, you’ll see two options along the bottom to visit the moon or Mars. From there, you’re free to explore those distant worlds.
We rounded up some of those images to show you what it looks like.
Now zoom out. You'll need to keep zooming until you see the appropriate options, which aren't there yet...
There! Now that you're zoomed out far enough, the options to visit the moon and Mars will appear in the carousel at the bottom of the screen.
When you zoom in, you can see more details of the moon, including its many craters. If you continue zooming in, you'll see names for those craters...
When you get a little bit closer, you can see some of the names of the geographical regions on the planet. Utopia Planitia, for example, is the name for one of Mars' vast lava plains.
Zoom in even closer and you can see some of the incredible details Google threw in its Mars maps. Who knew all of these various craters and areas were already claimed?
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