Now you can hike through many of Prospect Park’s car-inaccessible foot trails without leaving home: the paths are visible via Google Maps thanks to an initiative from the tech company that augments the street views from its famous photo car with those from a three-wheeled pedicab and a 40-pound backpack, Brooklyn Daily reports. Obviously, some people think this is dumb. “The park is beautiful—why look at it through a computer screen?” one Park Slope resident told the website. “Go outside and walk around and see it for yourself.” But of course a virtual Prospect Park has loads of benefits.
For starters, not everyone can walk around and see for themselves, like the sick and disabled. There are also people who don’t live in Brooklyn or, like me, don’t live close enough to Prospect Park to just stop in whenever we feel like it; now all those people can get a taste of its splendor at any time. Plus, now we have a historical record of what it looked like to walk through the park step-by-step in the early 21st century; imagine if such a thing existed of the park in the 1970s? Or the 1880s?
Of course, even Google can’t get onto all the awesome trails in Prospect Park, which means that this virtual access to the park’s magnificence can only be a complement to the able-bodied nearby-resident’s enjoyment of the park—not a replacement. Here’s a guide to walking around the park that’ll take you to places Google doesn’t.
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