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What this is

This map shows an estimate of picturesqueness of a view that opens up from any vantage point covered by the color gradient. The warmer the color, the more spectacular a view can be expected from that point.

Controls and keyboard shortcuts

Overlay opacity can be adjusted by clicking the overlay button repeatedly, or with the mouse scroll wheel while holding Ctrl.

Press Tab to switch the basemap between terrain and satellite views, Space to switch between overlays.

How to use

Click the map to open an info popup showing coordinates, some landmarks (if available) and a link to a 3D preview (your computer has to meet certain requirements for the latter to work). The click position by default snaps to a "best point" nearby; to avoid this adjustment hold Ctrl while clicking.

Unfortunately, the Google Maps 3D view does not provide an easy way to rotate the camera in place, so you won't be able to look around without losing your exact selected position. The optimal camera direction (for the best view) is chosen automatically. If you would like to adjust it manually, when your browser is showing 3D view, just locate a number with a trailing "h" (like 245.5h) near the end of the page address and alter it to your desired azimuth (in degrees).

Photos

Click the "Photos" button to enable the Flickr photos layer. There's a limit on the number of photos displayed simultaneously. Zoom in the map to discover more great photos.

Photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

What's next?

If the 3D view of a particularly breathtaking vista rendered on the screen is not enough and you decide to plot a route to get there in person, a terrain slopes overlay is provided to assist you with that. Here's what different colors mean for this supplementary overlay (we're assuming dry weather and traversable terrain):

Of course, most of the above can be disregarded if there's a road available.

To edit a route click the "Track" button (click it again to leave the edit mode). In the track edit mode, click the map to add a point, right click an existing point to delete it. After you create a track you get an option to export it as a .gpx file. To share a track with someone after you create it, just copy the page address from the address bar and paste it wherever needed.

To place markers press "m" on the keyboard. It works pretty much the same as the track edit mode.

Questions / comments / suggestions? Contact me at mivlad@gmail.com.