Google Earth gets an upgrade – Vignette

Google Earth gets an upgrade

Google Earth just got a very cool upgrade: its new interactive storytelling app, Voyager,  allows users to learn about travel, nature, culture and history, overlaid on a map of the world. You can visit the native tribes of the Amazon one minute and take a tour of the South Pole the next.

You can even explore some countries through the eyes of Sesame Street Muppet girls from those regions.

When you choose a tour, Google Earth shows you the locations on its map. At each point, you zoom into the area, and you can interact with 360 views, videos and photo essays where you can explore each project more deeply.

Google partnered with National Geographic, BBC Earth and PBS to create some of the projects and designed the tool for educators to use in the classroom. Google Expeditions uses the interactive tours in Voyager to help kids explore places and concepts that are hard to understand without physically being there.

And Google AR lets kids use augmented reality to see planet Earth appear on their desk or a DNA sequence that spirals to the ceiling.

Some other cool features include the reintroduced “I’m feeling lucky” button — with just one click you can jump around the globe at random. You can also see the terrain in 3D from any perspective and then share your view with friends with a virtual postcard.

For the future, Google says it wants to make this tool accessible to everyone to upload their experiences to the map and share it with friends, family and anyone else in the world.

Voyager is a powerful tool that brings interactive storytelling to an entirely new level. We can’t wait to start using it.

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