Breathtaking Google Street View Pictures of Antarctica (including the South Pole)

Can't afford a trip to the South Pole? It's cool, neither can we. Fortunately, Google's got us covered. Today marks the launch of Google's extensive collection of panoramic street view imagery from Antarctica — including the most accurate, hi-res data available for some of the continent's most noteworthy destinations.

Writes Google Technical Program Manager Alex Starns:

Back in September 2010, we launched the first Street View imagery of the Antarctic, enabling people from more habitable lands to see penguins in Antarctica for the first time. Today we're bringing you additional panoramic imagery of historic Antarctic locations that you can view from the comfort of your homes. We'll be posting this special collection to our World Wonders site, where you can learn more about the history of South Pole exploration.

With the help of the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, we've added 360-imagery of many important spots, inside and out, such as the South Pole Telescope, Shackleton's hut, Scott's hut, Cape Royds Adélie Penguin Rookery and the Ceremonial South Pole [pictured up top].

Breathtaking Google Street View Pictures of Antarctica (including the South Pole)With this technology, you can go inside places like [Ernest Shackleton's] Hut [pictured here] and the other small wooden buildings that served as bases from which [Antarctic] explorers launched their expeditions... Now anyone can explore these huts and get insight into how these men lived for months at a time.

You can read more about the World Wonders Project and Google's ever-improving view of the South Pole here.

See also: Google's Street View images of the Amazon. Really incredible stuff.