I’ve said it before, we live in a wonderful age. Even if one can’t afford to travel (that would be me these days), there still are amazing virtual options to explore the world, options that weren’t available to us only a decade ago. Google Maps, for instance, continues to innovate and impress me. You can now, in select U.S. cities, get a street level photographic view of an address. That’s right. Anywhere in town!

Let’s say you’ve just booked a couple of nights at the Penguin Hotel in Miami Beach (yeah, I stayed there overnight, years and years ago, on my way back to Little Cayman) and are wondering what the hotel looks like, and if it indeed faces the beach as advertised? Well wonder no longer and type Penguin Hotel Miami into Google Maps. Voilà! Drag the mouse on the picture to scroll around the 360 degree view, or click on the street arrows to move along.

Planning a photo shoot from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and wondering if the city will be too far away in the background? Go to Google Maps and check it out!

And then of course, there are my recent non-Street View favorites, like the ray spotted swimming among surfers on Bondi Beach, Sydney, and the urban core of Everest’s Base Camp.

For more amazing views of our Earth from the sky, read my previous post [[Google maps and our Amazing Earth]] .