Google Street View is celebrating its 15th birthday – can you believe that? Over the years, Google's on-the-street service – which you can activate by dragging that little orange human in Google Maps onto the streets – has presented to public with over 10 million miles of imagery from the planet's road systems.
But that's not all: Street View has also dished out plenty of special tie-ins – from the Batman Versus Superman Batcave walk-through (no longer active, sadly) to a whole host of other oddities – including a batch of off-road secret specials that we'll delve into below. Here are the best Google Street View and Google Earth special off-the-road secret locations:
1. To outer space!
Not only does Street View allow you to zoom in and in and in – and then literally into – one of NASA's spaces at the Kennedy Space Center, it's gone further afield too. Quite literally off the face of the planet.
Ever wanted to be an astronaut? You can explore the International Space Station, too, looking down onto the blue planet that we all call home. Looks a little cramped to us, so thanks Google for probably being the best way to experience space.
Go flying into outer space: visit the International Space station using Google Earth.
2. The Great Barrier Reef
Google hasn't just captured its Street View imagery from cars, as this one clearly shows: yes, you can leave your swimsuit at home and delve into the depths of the Pacific Ocean to take a closer look at the beautiful Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
It's well worth your time, too, to witness turtles swimming among the reef being one particular highlight. Extra poignant at this point in the Earth's life, too, given the issues of global warming and much of the reef dying over recent years.
Go for a dip and see the Great Barrier Reef via Google Earth.
3. The White House
Whether you're a POTUS mega fan or just want to take a gander around the halls of The White House, you can on Google Street View. It's been seasonally updated, too, with the current option a festive Christmas setting. Those baubles look especially dashing – probably for the best that the designers avoided any big orange ones, eh?
It's probably the closest any of us will get to sitting at a desk in the Oval Office playing fake President of the United States, too, but at least Google has presented this chance to grab a glimpse of life inside one of the world's most powerful offices in Washington DC.
Play fake President in The White House via this Street View link.
4. Thai floating market
Another water-based adventure here, except on the water rather than beneath the waves: this Street View snap of a floating market in Thailand is an authentic look at how many vendors operate in this beautiful country.
If you ever wanted inspiration for travel reopening then this is one that certainly makes us pine for travel to and through Asia. Not just for the markets, but the food. Seriously, the food is off the charts.
Explore the floating Thai market on Street View for yourself.
5. Hike to Everest base camp
There's off the street and there's really off the beaten path. Climbing Everest is one of those tasks that eludes most people – and for good reason, in that it's extremely challenging and outside of most peoples' abilities.
Trekking to base camp might be a bit easier a prospect then. No? Well, you needn't get into mind-altering high altitude for the task: Google Street View offers a trek that encompasses surrounding valleys and villages and gives a taste of the life in Himalayas.
Here's the Google Earth link to see Everest base camp for yourself.