Google Street View Comes to Israel

May 2nd 2012

Planning your tour to Israel just got easier. After months of negotiations with Israeli security teams, Google Maps has released its popular Street View capability in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, with much of the rest of the country coming soon. Now it’s that much easier to sneak a peak at Tel Aviv’s fine beaches, to tour the Bahai Gardens from home, or to envision what a bar mitzvah at the Western Wall might look like.

For tourists to Israel it’s the ideal tool to help you plan a memorable trip. Use the mapping tool to see how far apart your different destinations are, and to determine how much you can really pack in. Then zoom all the way to the 3D Street View interface for a close-up look at the streets, shops, restaurants and sites nearby. Get a sense for the neighborhood your hotel is in, and become acquainted with the streets before you even arrive.

Before you even set foot in Israel, you can preview your tour to Israel with 3D images of the country’s three largest cities. Virtually walk along the Jaffa Promenade, all the way from Old Jaffa to Tel Aviv’s modern Port, and you can almost feel the sea breeze in your hair. Or check out Haifa’s incredible museums, gardens, shrines, and vistas of the Mediterranean. Deciding what to include in your tour to Israel can be challenging as there is so much to see, but the new Google Street View can help you decide where to visit.

Not only can people now explore the streets of Israel from their computers, but Google Street View even goes inside some of Israel’s most exciting tourist attractions. Stroll through the massive Israel Museum, for example, and enjoy their collection of Judaica, modern art and archaeology from the comfort of your own home (check it out by zooming all the way in on the map here). Or delight in the to-scale model of Israel at Mini Israel to decide if you’d like to include it in your tour.

The images for Google Street View are captured by cameras mounted onto cars and oversized tricycles that drive around the country and collect data. To protect the privacy of Israeli citizens, most faces are blurred. And, of course, for national security, a number of locations such as the Knesset, the Prime Minister’s Home, and military headquarters in Tel Aviv, are blocked from view entirely. While Google Street View is available in dozens of countries, Israel is the first Middle Eastern country with this capability.