Sunday, June 24, 2012



POMPEII, Stonehenge and other ancient and modern sites are now available for armchair exploration thanks to Google's World Wonders Project, which lets people from around the world get a panoramic view of some of the world's most iconic historical locations.
A whopping 132 sites spanning 18 countries are on offer, dwarfing the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. These span a variety of categories, including archaeological sites, architecture, cities and towns, historical sites, monuments and memorials, palaces and castles, parks and gardens,  places of worship, regions and landscapes, and wonders of nature.
Among the collection are Stonehenge, Pompeii, the Kyoto temples, Shark Bay, and the Yosemite National Park. The only surviving ancient Wonder, the Great Pyramid of Giza, is not on the list, but we expect it is only a matter of time before Google expands this collection to feature more important “wonders” throughout the world.

The service employs Street View technology to provide a digital look at sites that may otherwise be inaccessible to many people. Since many of these could not be filmed by Google's cars, the company used trikes that carried cameras close enough to take pictures.

It is not just a Street View look at the famous buildings or natural formations, however, as Google is also providing 3D models and YouTube videos, in addition to historical information for research or just for curiosity. Google partnered with UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund, Getty Images and Ourplace for information and photographs.

Google has been launching a number of projects as part of the Google Cultural Institute to preserve and share famous historical material. It is publishing high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, digitizing the archives of Nelson Mandela, and showcasing the world's art as part of its Art Project, which expanded form 17 museums to 151 in April.

The Google World Wonders Project can be accessed here.

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