With Google Earth, you can virtually visit any part of the globe without having to travel there in real life. So, it was only natural that its services would one day be available on virtual reality platforms – and that’s now.
Google announced on Wednesday that Google Earth VR is now a thing, starting with HTC Vive. This news is clearly for the dedicated VR fan, considering the Vive retails for $799 (about Rs. 54,000) and needs a powerful PC alongside. Support for other platforms will roll out over the next year.
“At 196.9 million square miles, we know the world is pretty big, so we’ve made it easy to find great places to visit,” Google VR product manager Mike Podwal said in an official blog post. “Earth VR comes with cinematic tours and hand-picked destinations that send you to the Amazon River, the Manhattan skyline, the Grand Canyon, the Swiss Alps, and more.”
Google also mentioned that Earth has been around for 10 years now, and has seen 2 billion downloads in that time. Earth VR would have been perfect for the recently launched Daydream View, which is lacking in content. It currently supports Google Street View and Google Arts & Culture.
That’s all there is to it. You can get Google Earth VR for free on Steam, assuming you’ve access to an HTC Vive. Expect to find some blurred places, considering the kind of requests Google gets now and then.