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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

With a few clicks you can visit the Coliseum, the Palace of Versailles and the Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. You don’t even have to go anywhere! Is Google Streetview taking tourism and sightseeing to the next level or ruining the surprise of seeing the sights first-hand?

Google ditches the car and takes up… tricycles? These three-wheelers are touring the world’s most popular tourist attractions and are filming every square inch of the best of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. The priority is on Europe’s main historical buildings: castles, monuments, palaces, parks, churches, etc. with the intent of offering a virtual tour of the places of interest before travellers arrive.

In the past, we’ve been able to explore these famous sights through photographs and film but now, for the first time ever you can actually take a virtual tour. Now you can actually get a sense of the place and the areas around it. You can even go inside the Coliseum, not just around it. So far only sites in France and Italy have been captured, available for viewing with the Streetview feature. But you can expect many, many more.

Google is taking its trikes around the world to try and document every square inch of the world’s major monuments, from the historical city centre of Prague to the ruins of Pompeii.

Want a peek at the accuracy of these virtual tours?

The USA hasn’t been forgotten in this project. Get an up-close look at the best beaches in Hawaii before booking your hotel in Honolulu or take a tour of New York’s city streets before your trip. Is this the next step in travel? Being able to see the destination before you arrive? What about the surprise and adventure that is supposed to come along with discovering new places?

Img: mach-ms, Flickr cc.


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