If you’ve ever wondered what the view is like as you climb the world’s tallest man-made building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, now you can easily find out. Google announced in a blog post Monday that it has mapped the entire internal and external layout of the 163-floor building for Google Maps.
Google said that the Burj Khalifa imagery was collected over a period of three days using the Street View Trekker and Trolley. Viewers can scale the gigantic building floor by floor, walking around each space and stopping at the skyscrapers most luxurious sites: the highest swimming pool (on the 73rd floor), the tallest observation deck (on the 124th floor), and even the highest occupied area (on the 163 floor).
The experience is available in highlights on the company’s website, but the tendency as you watch is to want to zoom to the nearest window. As the floors get higher, the views of Dubai become increasingly breathtaking — and, at a certain point, more abstract as well. If the ground floor sounds more appealing, the Google team has documented the outdoor pavilion around the building while the famous fountain show took place.
Google has been pushing the boundaries of where Maps can, well, map. It has also been mapping the world’s coral reefs in partnership with the Catlin Seaview Survey, and has already covered sites in Australia, Hawaii and the Philippines. These and other maps projects are interesting in that they explore Google’s capabilities from an experiential point of view. You may never need to get directions to the 110th floor of the Burj Khalifa or the Great Barrier Reef from your home, but Street View’s attempts at capturing it all make for gorgeous armchair sightseeing.
It’s likely that the Burj Khalifa won’t be the last historical building to receive the Google Maps treatment — the company appears eager to bring the world, in all its square footage, online.