Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway From Your Sofa, Using Google Russia's YouTube and Maps Mash-up

Traveling on the Trans Siberian Railway has always appealed to me, but it's difficult finding a spare eight days to ride the 9,259km long journey. Now I can complete the journey using YouTube and Google Maps...in 150 hours.

The website takes the viewer on a journey from the starter point of Moscow to the final station of Vladivostok, using multiple YouTube videos of a camera aimed out a window. You can choose to listen to just the rumble of the wheels, or Russian radio—even a reading of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. In Russian, of course.

The journey is tracked on Google Maps, with key details being pointed out, such as how far you've traveled and how much longer there is to go. If you want to skip ahead to the scenic mountains of Barguzin for example, you're more than welcome to—and don't need to pay for a fare.

It took 30 days for Google to film the 150 hours used in the YouTube videos, with two camera crews shooting out the windows of the train last summer. It's pretty much the epitome of armchair viewing, and I must say that the noise the train coursing down the tracks is a very relaxing sound. Perfect blogging soundtrack, in fact. [Google.ru Moscow-Vladivostok via the Guardian]

Here's the first video, which shows the train leaving Moscow: