A new website has been launched that makes it possible to virtually hike through the Alps on a variety of trails, without having to leave the house.
WebWandern.ch features a multitude of different hiking trails, all of them recorded in a street-view style. You won't get a 360 degree view, but you do get a smooth video of the trails from start to finish. At any point you can use the built-in slider to jump to different parts of the trek or experience the entire trail from start to finish. Expect it to take a while though.
There's accompanying sound and occasional passers-by to look out for, as well as some fantastic views. All of the footage was filmed by real hikers using HD cameras, giving it a very authentic feel.
"We don't think it will stop people coming to enjoy the real thing. You can't experience the clean air and the pure countryside by being a couch potato," said spokesperson Gieri Spescha.
Google Streetview and subsequent Amazon river projects have shown how it's possible to see the world without going very far. While some might worry that this would spoil the real thing and make people less likely to experience it, in the same way that piracy can help promote music sales, it seems likely all these videos will do is make more people want to get out there and see it all for themselves.