Google Offers Overviews Of Olympic Torch Relay

    April 4, 2008

To some people, the Summer Olympics are little more than a nuisance – their television viewing schedules get messed up, don’tcha know.  But those who really enjoy the Games may be glad for the chance to watch the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in Google Maps and Google Earth.

Olympic Torch Following
 Olympic Torch Relay In Google Maps

Colored lines and a torch symbol – think "Indiana Jones," almost – show the torch’s current location and its past and future routes in Google Maps.  Popups offer pictures and a bit of information about each stopping point.

It’s relatively simple, but it works.  And on the LatLong Blog, Brittany Bohnet asks, "On the go?  Take this map with you to any website with our embeddable API code.  You can even customize it to match your page."

She then continues, "If you’d like a more interactive exploration of the torch experience, download our Google Earth layer and watch the path unfold.  Easily jump from one city to the next within the info bubble, or point your mouse over any 3D city name to jump to a specific place.  For an even better virtual experience, press the play button in the sidebar and sit back to watch the relay in action."

A Street View version of the Torch Relay would be better still – imagine camera-equipped cars chasing, or at least pacing, runners all over the world.  Olympic enthusiasts will have to take what they can get, though, and Google is sure to roll out a few other things as August draws closer.