Stay warm and window shop with Google Street View

'Tis the season to go shopping, and the point where desperation begins to make its ugly presence felt.

The holidays are just around the corner. One thing popular with folks this time of year is "window shopping", meaning walking along the streets and checking out the displays.

If you enjoy this activity then there are no better places to do it than New York City and London. Coincidentally, that's exactly where the Google Street View team recently trekked, taking in the sites and recording them for the rest of the world.

"Starting today, with Google Maps Business View, you can see decked out displays in New York and London - without braving the cold weather, lugging bags around or fighting for sidewalk space with fellow shoppers.

"Now grab your virtual reindeer because we’re off to our holiday window tour", says Google's Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, product manager for Google Maps Business View.

Many of the stores which windows are depicted are also in Google Maps, complete with the interior layout, making your shopping trip a bit easier. In fact, that's the case with many other stores and shopping malls around the world - Google points to Old Navy in San Francisco and Benetton in Russia as examples.

If you are procrastinating on your holiday shopping then now is the time to get moving on it. Oh, and try not to break the bank while you're out there.