Google Maps kicks off the World Cup with Street View flair

The Web giant takes viewers inside all 12 of Brazil's World Cup stadiums, while also ramping up transit data in the tournament's host cities.

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Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Attending the World Cup in person can be an expensive affair -- there's the plane fare, hiked-up hotel costs, not to mention game day tickets. So, for this year's games in Brazil, Google is looking to let soccer enthusiasts take part in some of the fun without actually having to break the bank.

The Web giant released a Google Maps Street View package on Thursday specifically for the World Cup. The feature lets people explore all 12 of the World Cup stadiums -- from Manaus' white dome in the Amazon to Rio de Janeiro's Maracana set among the city's jungle-covered hills.

Additionally, users can check out Brazil's painted streets -- a World Cup tradition -- and many of the country's top tourist sights, like Iguaçu National Park and St. Michael of the Missions.

While these maps could be insightful to people who are far from Brazil, Google has also rolled out a few features for those fans who actually traveled down south to see some live goals.

The company amped up its mobile app to include transit data in all of the 12 World Cup host cities -- this could come in handy when dense crowds make catching a cab near impossible. And, it also added indoor maps to more than 100 venues across the country, including airports, malls, and inside the World Cup stadiums.

"The World Cup is the biggest global sports tournament," Google Street View program manager Deanna Yick wrote in a blog post. "And whether you're watching the games from the comfort of your couch or packing your bags for Brazil, Google Maps is your ticket to the World Cup."

 

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