I love taking friends on hikes to mountain peaks. Partially because I’m a legitimate peak-junkie, but also because I like to look smart and outdoorsy by pointing out the other named peaks in the area.
Hey, we all like to look knowledgeable.
And now there’s a better way to learn the peaks than diligent map-studying (which I’m not opposed to, either) — it’s called Hey, What’s That?
It’s one of the most comprehensive Google Maps mashups I’ve seen. You can choose from a preselected number of peaks and views, or take the time to enter your own location on Google Maps. After doing a little calculating, the site will give you a 3-D panorama of the view from that location, with all the named peaks marked and labeled. It’ll also give you your latitude and longitude, elevation, and a horizontal profile of your line of sight.
The site will also show you your line of sight on a Google satellite map, along with all the info on nearby summits, like their bearings, distance from you, and elevation.
If that’s not enough, you can download all this information in a GPX waypoint file for your GPS, see it in full 3-D in Google Earth, print it out, or get the lists sent to your email or phone.
And if you’re really particular about planning your outings, you can turn on a “Visibility Cloak” that will shade all of the areas of the map you’ll be able to see from your location. Just note that it doesn’t take smog into its calculations.