Every year, millions of people pack their bags and head to far-off places to enjoy sites and cultures different from their own. While there, they snap photos to document their trip and share their excursions online. Yet none of these individual photos captures the experience of actually being immersed in a specific location. With today’s introduction of photo tours, a feature of Google Maps that guides you through a 3D photo scene, we’re one step closer (video).
Photo tours are available for more than 15,000 popular sites around the world, from famous landmarks such as St. Mark’s Basilica in Italy to scenic treasures like Half Dome in Yosemite. They can be initiated from Google Maps in two ways. First, when you search for a place, such as Trevi Fountain, the results in the left panel will indicate if there is a photo tour available: click either the thumbnail image or the link to start the tour. Alternatively, if you’re browsing the map and click on the label for a particular landmark, the info window that appears will indicate if a photo tour is available. Read the rest of this entry »