Google Maps has gone off-road for the latest evolution of its Street View function; it's now showing bits of the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail! As reported in USA Today, Google sent a tricycle down the bike path, taking photos all the way. Perhaps it's due to the slow speed, or perhaps they've upgraded their equipment, but the graphics are far more high resolution than one sees in the normal Street View. How high-resolution are they? You can even see seals sunning themselves on a rock in the bay if you zoom in far enough. It's a little blurry, but still impressive. Unfortunately, getting to the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail on Google Maps Street View is not as easy as typing in the address (as we found through much frustration). To view the Coastal Recreation Trail:

  1. Go to Google Maps
  2. Type in an address you know in Monterey. (Don't know one? Try "765 Wave Street".)
  3. A pointer box will appear on the map, with a photo next to the address you typed in. Below the photo, you'll see "Street View." Click on that link.
  4. If you move your cursor around the lower left-hand side of the photo, you'll see a circle around the cursor. Double-click.
  5. Ta-da! You've magically teleported down to the bike path. You can click to get a full view of whatever is along the side, like this great view of the Quock Mui Tea Room near sunset.
  6. Not sure exactly where you are on the bike trail? In the map in the lower right hand corner, click the minus button to zoom out. You'll soon see where you are in relation to the rest of Monterey.

Or, if that's too much trouble, just click on this link, which puts you right in front of the IMAX Theater. Then use the left and right arrows placed along the yellow line two-thirds of the way down the photo to move around. We haven't had time to check and see if this has every foot of the bike trail from Castroville to Pebble Beach. Have you? Did you spot anything nifty in any of the particular shots (such as passersby pointing and gawking)? Let us know!