Google Earth Just Got Better–& More Existential

Google Earth Just Got Better–& More Existential

by Ashley McCann

One of the most awe-inspiring features of Google Earth is how it allows you to get a sense of your place on our planet, in both a micro and macro way.

From your exact home to a zoomed out view of its place in your city, state, and world, searching for home is what users most often do first. As Google Earth product manager, Gopal Shah so aptly said, “Home is not just how we understand our place in the world—it’s a means to connect to something bigger than ourselves.” 

In a brand new version of Google Earth, this sense of connectedness is further explored with Voyager, a showcase of guided interactive voyages designed by storytellers, scientists, and innovative non-profits to place different lenses on both our planet and our perspective of how it all works together.

A New Google Earth: This Is Home And Beyond

“Start with Natural Treasures from BBC Earth, and journey to six habitats—from islands to mountains to jungles—and learn about the unique and thrilling wildlife in each. Then head to Gombe National Park in Tanzania and hear from Jane Goodall about her team’s chimpanzee research and conservation efforts. And make a stop in Mexico with Lola, one of 12 little monsters featured in Sesame Street’s Girl Muppets Around the World, and learn about modern Mayan cultures. With more than 50 immersive stories in Voyager, and more added weekly, there are lots of adventures to choose from.

Uncover hidden gems the world over with ‘I’m feeling lucky,’ a new feature that takes you somewhere unexpected with the click of a button. You might discover the lush green Pemba Island off the Swahili coast, the historic La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy or the Zao Hot Spring in Yamagata, Japan. We’ve curated 20,000 different places, so roll the dice and see where the world takes you.”

Once you arrive at your virtual destination, information awaits in the form of knowledge cards that shed light on the facts and history of the place while providing more photographs and suggesting your next digital journey, making it the perfect educational opportunity to inspire curiosity about geography.

Zoom in or out, or take in a 360-degree view, before sharing a postcard of your favorite places so others can enjoy the experience as well.

And since there is no place like home in the hearts and minds of Google Earth users, Voyager has created a story called, “This Is Home,” which shares the places other people call home. “You’re invited to step inside a Peruvian chuclla, a Bedouin tent and a Greenlandic IIoq, and meet the people who live there. Check back to visit more homes in the coming months,” says Google Earth’s announcement.

The new Google Earth is currently available on Chrome and Android and will be on iOS and other browsers n the near future.

Skip the permission slips and take your classroom on field trips around the world to create a sense of connection with their community, humanity, and our planet.

A New Google Earth: This Is Home And Beyond