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Google Earth has been educating and entertaining many of us for years. However, the development of new technologies means Google has new ways of letting us all explore our home planet. Virtual reality is surely made for this kind of thing. Cue Google Earth VR.
At 196.9 million square miles, planet Earth is rather big. I know, understatement of the year. It’s also beautiful, as anyone who has ever watched a David Attenborough documentary can attest. Sadly most of us will only ever actually visit a small portion of it in our lifetimes.
Thankfully, as is usually the case, Google has us covered, with a new app designed to help us all take virtual vacations. Google Earth VR lets you explore this giant ball of rock and water we call home from the comfort of your living room. And all you need is an HTC Vive.
Google Earth VR lets you fly over cities, explore famous landmarks, and hover over natural wonders. From your starting point in space you can even zoom right down to street level. The controls are simple, leaving you free to explore planet Earth as you see fit.
Exclusive to the HTC Vive
Google Earth VR is only available on the HTC Vive right now, and you’ll need to download it from the Steam Store. Thankfully, like all the best things in life, it’s free. Owners of other VR headsets needn’t feel left out, as Google has strongly suggested Google Earth VR will be launching on other platforms in the future.
Do you own the HTC Vive? What is your favorite VR app so far? Will you be downloading Google Earth VR? Which location will you be visiting first? Do you think virtual reality is here to stay or just a gimmick? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Daniel Oines via Flickr