See the wonders of the world without getting on a plane! Explore interactive 3D models of sites from Edinburgh Castle to the Easter Island statues using Google’s new Search tool
- Google Arts & Culture launched the new tool today ahead of World Tourism Day on September 27
- Smartphone users will be able to view 37 heritage sites in 3D – and even place them in their own homes
- A spokesperson from Google said of the new tool: ‘The goal is to showcase the importance of heritage sites’
Now you can have an eye-popping journey around the world and sate your wanderlust from the comfort of your armchair – thanks to Google Search’s new augmented reality (AR) tool.
Eventually, 37 cultural heritage sites will be made available as interactive 3D models on smartphones.
Highlights include Edinburgh Castle, the moai statues of Ahu Ature Huki on Easter Island, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and the Maya pyramid of Chichén Itzá in Mexico.
Now you can have an eye-popping journey around the world and sate your wanderlust from the comfort of your armchair – thanks to Google Search’s new augmented reality (AR) tool. Here Edinburgh Castle has been brought into a living room by the new function
Google Search’s new augmented reality tool seen in action with Easter Island statues
To view an AR site simply perform a Google Search for it (the full list can be found below), then scroll down once the results are up. If a 3D model is available you’ll see it rotating on a blank background under the heading ‘3D model’.
Click ‘View in 3D’ and you’ll then be able to spin the image around using the touchscreen.
Underneath it will be an invitation to ‘view in your space’. Clicking this will place the interactive model wherever the camera is pointed.
Google Arts & Culture launched the new Search tool today ahead of World Tourism Day on September 27.
The tool was developed in partnership with CyArk, a nonprofit organization located in Oakland, California, which strives to ‘digitally record, archive and share the world’s most significant cultural heritage and ensure that these places continue to inspire wonder and curiosity for decades to come’.
The University of South Florida Libraries Digital Heritage & Humanities Collection also collaborated on the project.
Google Arts & Culture launched the new tool ahead of World Tourism Day. Google allows you to view the sites in a blank space (as shown on the right with Edinburgh Castle)
A spokesperson from Google said of the new tool: ‘The goal is to showcase the importance of heritage sites and inspire users to engage with cultural heritage’
A spokesperson from Google said of the new tool: ‘The goal is to showcase the importance of heritage sites and inspire users to engage with cultural heritage.
‘A user who is interested in one of these heritage sites will be able to view the 3D model through a simple search query on Google Search on their mobile device. The model will surface in the search results.’
Travel-starved tech-users can continue their journey on Google Arts & Culture, which has made hundreds of other destinations available for virtual exploration.
For instance, there’s the option to transport yourself back in time to Ancient Egypt and take a virtual tour of the pyramids of Giza or, if you’re a fan of heights, a tour of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania might pique your interest.
Instagrammers and YouTube stars are also on hand to take you on a journey. You can explore Andalucia with YouTube creator Kikillo or join a virtual walk around Milan with travel-savvy Instagram creator Federica di Nardo.
Google notes if the augmented reality function ‘really has you hooked, make sure to check out a few other cool things including dinosaurs, the skeletal system and Apollo 11 by looking them up in Google Search’.
THE 37 SITES GETTING THE GOOGLE SEARCH INTERACTIVE 3D TREATMENT
Ahu Ature Huki, Easter Island
Ahu Nau Nau, Easter Island
Ananias Chapel, Syrian Arab Republic
Ancient Corinth, Greece
Audiencia in Palacio Tschudi – Chan Chan, Peru
Brandenburg Gate, Germany
Chacmol statue – Templo Mayor, Mexico
Chunakhola Masjid – Bagerhat, Bangladesh
Church of Sveta Sofia, North Macedonia
Edinburgh Castle, UK
Eim ya kyaung Temple – Bagan, Myanmar
El Caracol – Chichén Itzá, Mexico
El Castillo – Chichen Itza, Mexico
Flanders Field American Cemetery, Belgium
Fort York National Historic Site, Canada
Gateway of India
Great Mosque – Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
Lanzón – Chavín de Huántar, Peru
Lukang Longshan Temple, Taiwan
Martin Luther King Memorial
Mesa Verde, USA
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico
Nasa Apollo 1 Mission Memorial, US
Nine Dome Mosque – Bagerhat, Bangladesh
Normandy American Cemetery, France
Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico
Palacio Tschudi – Chan Chan, Peru
Rano Rarako, Easter Island
Shait Gumbad Mosque – Bagerhat, Bangladesh
Temple of Apollo (Portara), Greece
Temple of Echmoun, Lebanon
Thomas Jefferson Memorial, US
Tomb of Tu Duc (Complex of Hué Monuments), Vietnam
War Canoe – Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand
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