View the “Streets” of Ski Butternut

November 22, 2011 at 10:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

By now, you’re probably very well-acquainted with Google Maps’ Street View feature (if not, here’s a tutorial). In fact, if you’re lucky, you may have even encountered the Google Street View car at some point (I spotted one in New York City a few months ago).

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about: For the past several years, Google has been sending a fleet of cars outfitted with ridiculous-looking roof-mounted 360-degree cameras all around the globe. The cars drive up and down as many streets as possible, taking detailed images of the streetscape from every possible angle (thanks to those aforementioned crazy roof orb cameras). The result is a comprehensive ‘driver’s eye’ view of nearly every inch of road in America, as well as roads in more than 30 other countries around the world. These street view images complement the maps and satellite images already available on Google Maps and Google Earth, and are great for scoping out neighborhoods for stores or restaurants, or for finding what someone’s house looks like so you won’t get lost and drive right past it.

For example, here’s a view of our entrance as seen by the Google Street View car from Route 23/State Road in Great Barrington, MA.

But the zany innovators at Google didn’t stop there. They figured that there’s a lot more earth to explore than just the places you can access by road, so they came up with ways to take the Google Street View camera off the streets. A tricycle takes them onto hiking paths, deep into National Parks, as well as across college campuses. A rolling cart takes them through indoor spaces, like museum galleries.

But how about ski areas?

A snowmobile, of course!

The snowmobile was first inspired by and used for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games at Whistler. Afterwards, Google decided that it would be a great idea to take it to other ski areas around the globe. So when we got the call last season, we enthusiastically agreed to let the street view snowmobile come ride around at Ski Butternut. In late March, the snowmobile took laps up and down every single one of Ski Butternut’s trails, snapping thousands of photos along the way. (Because it was one of the last days of the season – the street view snowmobile was too busy during the height of ski season to come visit us – the pictures are unfortunately not ‘mid-winter beautiful,’ but thanks to cooperative weather last winter and the efforts of our skilled snowmaking team, the whole mountain was still open at that point, so at least they were able to cover every trail.)

Yesterday, Google finally announced the official release of this new batch of ski area street view images. While Google doesn’t specify, Mashable reports that only 13 resorts were added, so we’re amongst a pretty exclusive club of the first bunch of participating resorts (we can confirm that we’re the only mountain in the Berkshires currently covered by street view).

Thanks to our friends at Google, we now cordially invite you to take some virtual ski/snowboard runs on a virtual trail map tour of Ski Butternut. To help you get started, I’ve placed you right at the off-ramp of Chair 1 Top Flight, at the peak of the mountain. Happy trails!

BONUS: It only took a few seconds of sleuthing to find my boss, Matt Sawyer, Director of Marketing, showing off his skills for the street view snowmobile. The first person to email me with the correct trail name on which this image was captured will win 2 free tubing tickets good during the 2011-2012 season (one guess per person). WE HAVE A WINNER!: Congratulations to Tim K. from Fairfield, CT, who was the first person to email me with the correct response. HOB NOB!

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MATT SAWYER? (with props to Matt Lauer and Carmen Sandiego)

P.S. If you spot any other fun, interesting, or scenic images of Ski Butternut on Google Street View, we’d love to see them. E-mail us a screen shot.

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