Hey, you! Want to explore the surface of Mars?
No problem! All we need is a few billion dollars, a couple hundred of the world’s brightest minds, and for someone to get around to solving that pesky “massive levels of radiation” problem.
On second thought, that might take a while. Until then, Google Maps will have to do.
Just in time for the 2nd anniversary of the Curiosity rover touching down on Martian soil, Google has tucked 3D, explorable versions of Mars and the Moon right into Maps. Shootin’ across the galaxy in Google Maps is pretty easy, as long as you know where to click.
Here’s how to get there:
- First, head over to Google Maps
- Down in the bottom left, you should see an icon that lets you put the map in “Google Earth” mode. Click that.
- Wait for the once-flat map to load in 3D. Then start zooming out. Zoom out as far as you can
- Once you’re zoomed all the way out, just wait a second. Options for “Moon” and “Mars” should appear at the bottom of your screen, as pictured above.
- (If nothing shows up, you might have the “Explore” tab closed. Click the pair of upward arrows in the bottom right to expand the Explore drawer.)
Note: You need to be in the “new” version of Google Maps for this to work. If you’ve switched yourself back to the classic version, you’ll have to switch back temporarily.
And for those looking to explore both space and time, here’s how to use Google Maps to sneak into the TARDIS