Google, NASA offer digital views of Sochi Games
Sochi, Russia is seen in this 2013 satellite image. (Photo courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Published Saturday, February 8, 2014 6:59PM EST
Not travelling to Sochi? No problem, Google and NASA have shared some digital tools to help bring the Games and the surrounding countryside to your computer screen.
Here's a look at four different ways you can toggle around the Sochi Olympics from the comfort of your own home.
1. Map: Hometowns of Canada's Olympians
This year the largest contingent of Canadian athletes in Olympic history are competing at the Sochi Games. A total 220 athletes are representing Canada. While the athletes come from all corners of the country, from Victoria to Yellowknife to Cole Harbour, N.S., they are united in their desire to win Olympic gold.
Here's a map made by Google showing the hometowns of Canada's 2014 Olympic athletes. Click on each of the red points below to see more details and click here to see a full-size version of the map.
2) The Sochi Olympic Village through the years
Before becoming famous for hosting the Olympic Games, Sochi was known as a Black Sea resort town where Russian families would spend their summer holidays.
After it was awarded the Olympics in 2007, the city -- which has a population of about 350,000 people -- underwent massive construction to prepare for the Games.
These photos, provided by Google Earth and DigitalGlobe, show how construction of the Olympic Village site in Sochi has progressed through the years.
3) Sochi street view
(Photo courtesy Google Maps)
Many have questioned why Russia would opt to host an Olympic Games in Sochi.
The city is difficult to get to, borders the politically unstable North Caucasus region, and is one of handful of places in Russia where it's not naturally snowy in February.
Sochi has a humid subtropical climate with an average February temperature ranging between a low of 2.5 C and a high of 10.4 C. Indeed, in the lead-up to the Games reporters in Sochi have written more about the city's palm trees than the fluffy white stuff.
Still, Russian President Vladimir Putin has hedged his bets in Sochi, promising to deliver a successful and safe Olympics at any cost (even the $51 billion the Games have reportedly cost).
Google recently updated its street views of Sochi and the surrounding area. Click through the images to get a look at the city from the ground.
4) Winter Olympics as seen from space
NASA has released a series of satellite images showing each of the 18 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics. Click through the gallery, to see Sochi, Vancouver, Turin and other past host cities as seen from space.
Vancouver, Canada is pictured in this satellite image on Sep. 7, 2011. (Photo courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)