Google Maps and the Tour de France


Tour de France
Tour de France

Whilst on holiday in Brisbane, I stayed up late to watch the Tour de France. I always find it fascinating to watch how the riders negotiate (or not) all the hazards thrown up in this race. Reading the daily newspaper I found a small article about tracking the Tour via Google maps. When I got back home (I was having a computer-free week) I went on line to investigate and found that this was a lot of fun and gave me a new perspective on the race. Google Maps has used the street view technology to allow everyone to see the race as the cyclist might do, just pick up the little cyclist icon and, following the blue line (not the yellow brick road), put it where you want to be and have a look around. 

 This year the Tour covers around 2,200 miles during its 21 stages. Google had, in the Street Views, camera teams capturing all 2,200 miles of the race, including, “the 21 hairpin bends of the notoriously steep Alpe d’Huez section“, the picturesque towns, that seem much more dangerous in this view, as well as the notorious and narrow Parisienne streets and cobbles of the Champs-Élysées, extremely hazardous when wet and always lined by rows of spectators. SBS also has great coverage and a lot of information about the race, with the latest videos, Cadel Evans blog and commentaries. The official Tour de France site is also very good.


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