The web and Android versions of Google Earth just received a massive update that launched several new features on the 3D mapping service.
Voyager, one of the new features on Google Earth, offers curated digital journeys around the world, allowing users to catch a glimpse of various interesting locations.
Google Earth Introduces Voyager
Google Earth users who wanted to explore the locations mapped by the service previously had to randomly click on spots on the planet or look for places that they already previously visited.
The new Voyager feature upgrades the digital planetary exploration experience by offering curated adventures that revolve around certain themes.
For example, there is a voyage entitled Museums Around the World, where the journey will include Street Views of 28 museums from all over the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain. There is also a voyage entitled Earth View, which will show users "the most striking and enigmatic landscapes" that can be seen in Google Earth.
Some of the other voyages offered by Google Earth include UNESCO World Heritage Sites, The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks, and Trek: Galapagos Islands.
As users continue their journey, landmarks that appear on their screens will come with descriptions and information regarding them. Some locations also offer additional media such as 360-degree content and embedded YouTube videos, which enhance the voyage.
Google Earth currently has over 50 tours under Voyager, with more to be added on a weekly basis.
Other New Google Earth Features
The update to Google Earth also introduces an "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature, which can also be found in Google's search engine to check out random websites under a given search term. When the feature is used in Google Earth, users will be shown one out of 20,000 pre-selected landmarks or locations in the world, along with the accompanying description of the place from Wikipedia.
Google Earth now also offers the option to share postcards of certain views on the service, with the sent images containing a link to where the sender is virtually standing. Users can also now begin utilizing Google Earth to prepare their itineraries when visiting popular cities such as London, Tokyo, and Mexico City.
The virtual reality component of Google Earth, previously only compatible with the HTC Vive, now also supports the Oculus Rift and the Oculus Touch controllers. All users in virtual reality are now also offered the option to search for locations through a virtual keyboard.
In addition, Google Earth is no longer a program that requires to be downloaded. The service can now be accessed on any computer through Google Chrome, with support for other browsers to soon arrive. The revamped Google Earth will also come to the iOS. However, no specific dates have been released.
With these changes, Google Earth now has much more functionality in addition to timelapses and spotting aliens. Users who are interested in seeing what the fuss is all about are welcome to try out what Google Earth has to offer, though you will have to do so in the Chrome browser.