PHOTO: Google Earth is far better than it was before. (photo via Flickr/Kevin Gill)
Spend the morning hopping around the world’s greatest cities and then spend lunch touring the planet's complement of amazing museums.
Oh, and you never have to leave your house while doing so.
Google Earth just enjoyed an extensive update that will have you virtually traveling to the corners of the globe in a matter of seconds. It’s bound to be your favorite tool for exploring possible future destinations to visit (while also satiating the ever-present wanderlust we have while at work).
Google’s The Keyword takes us into a deep dive of what to expect with the gorgeous and expansive update that is now available on Google Chrome browsers as well as Android devices. (Sorry, everyone else. You will have to either make the switch or buy a plane ticket to see the world.)
Google Earth has already been a wonderful tool to quickly discover the layout of a given area. Wondering what that street you are about to stay on in London looks like during the day? You've had the ability to do that for about 15 years now.
But the ability to really immerse yourself in various locations has become all the richer throughout the years. This update is by far the most extensive.
You can, obviously, peek at your home and search various locations around the world in a remarkably seamless manner, but there is far more under the hood now.
There is an “I’m Feeling Lucky” button that should have you giddily transporting around the world to a new location every time. This is more than just for entertainment purposes because you are also greeted with a caption to learn more about said destinations.
The really cool tool, however, is Voyager. It acts like a desktop tour guide, taking you to some amazing places and explaining the particulars behind each.
To start, there are some mighty enticing virtual journeys: Natural Treasures (powered by BBC Earth), Museums Around the World and Hemingway’s Hangouts—a trove of the famed writer’s favorite places—are just a few that will keep you busy for hours. Accompanying Knowledge Cards will have you sounding like a geography genius at your next dinner party.
That’s not all.
There is an improved 3D function to enhance the feeling you’re that close to iconic attractions and landmarks around the world. And because travel is an amazing asset to build empathy, Google Earth has included something called This is Home.
The website explains: “We hope that after visiting your house in the new Google Earth, you'll be inspired to see someone else’s…a journey into traditional homes from cultures around the world. You’re invited to step inside a Peruvian chuclla, a Bedouin tent and a Greenlandic IIoq, and meet the people who live there.”
The modern traveler has more information at their fingertips than they ever have before. The days of solely thumbing through maps and guide books are over, because you can actually tour locations long before you book travel.
We recently profiled the advent of virtual reality as a booking game changer, completely revolutionizing how upcoming generations will choose its respective trips. Of course, you don’t need expensive gear to visit that one place you have been dying to see. You just need to open your Android phone or the computer you are using to read this here article.
Google Earth continues to shrink the world to an embraceable size.