An all new Google Earth was unveiled recently, and it does so much more than the blurred and flat 2-D view that the older version offered.
The new Google Earth is all about a completely immersive and personal experience, and Google has put together an impressive set of tools to let the user travel the world virtually.
The original Google format remains but it has a lot more to offer. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast or a history buff or just a plain adventurer, Google Earth can take you through your own personalised journey.
The most exciting new addition is the Voyager feature that allows users to navigate through a number of thematic tours that are accompanied by “knowledge cards” that provide information about the sites.
The menu offers a host of choices categorised as Travel, Nature, Culture and History. It has something for everyone.
Then there’s the Attenborough option. Google has also collaborated with BBC Earth to explore the incredible natural diversity around the world. The feature gives access to videos of animals in their natural habitat and the videos are accompanied by narration from Sir David Attenborough
The Trek with Rangers category allows you to follow forest rangers through hidden wonders of national parks around the world, and takes you “on journeys to places most people never go”. From the Hawaiian Volcanoes to the Bryce Canyon, one of the darkest places in America at night, there’s some great sights to see here.
For the literature buffs, the new additions lets you trace the steps of Victorian novelist Charles Dickens and of his best-loved characters around Great Britain. You can visit the various residences of Dickens or the other locations that featured in his many novels.
If you are a Hemingway fan, you can virtually tour the author’s favourite watering holes. The feature takes you to the Left Bank café, where the likes of Hemingway, Sartre and Camus frequented and the bars that Hemingway featured in his novels.Google Earth's update allows people to view Manhattan's skyscrapers, the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks in 3D.
The new additions allows users to explore local landmarks through great 3D images and street views.
In south India, for instance, you can take a virtual tour of the Mysore Palaceusing the street view.
Or peek inside the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad.
Or you could let Google’s editors recommend a few of their favourite features, such as the Land Art from Above that lets users “see large-scale outdoor art through a unique view from space”. Check out, for instance, Sacred, a Celtic horse land art sculpture by Australian artist Andrew Rogers.
Art lovers can also explore Ultradistancia, an art project by Argentinian photographer Federico Winer, who intercepts satellite images beamed to us by Google Earth and captures them at very high resolution. He then scans them for a pattern that catches his eye and turns them into prints.