By Mari Silbey
Posting in Architecture
Google is bringing the wonders of the world to your doorstep. Just imagine what it could do with the World Wonders Project next.
Even if you're the world-traveling type, chances are you haven't made it to every historic site on your bucket list. No matter. Google is bringing the wonders of the world to your doorstep. With its new World Wonders Project, Google has harnessed its Street View technology to present 360-degree views of 132 historic sites around the world. You can browse sites by location or theme, and access further information, photos, videos and even three-dimensional renderings on the Google World Wonders website.
It's worth taking the time to explore the places Google has photographed, especially because they range from well-known phenomena like Stonehenge to tours of cities you've probably never heard of, like the quaintly unique church village of Gammelstad, Lulea in Sweden. Google went all out for these "street-view" models, exchanging its traditional automotive mode of transport for camera-carrying tricycles. The result is a wide range of close-ups; views that couldn't have been captured by car.
It's also worth considering where Google could take its World Wonders Project next. With recent advancements in virtual and augmented reality technology, it doesn't seem unreasonable to presume that in the future we’ll be looking at these historic sites through a whole new lens – one that puts us virtually in these environments rather than just seated in front of them. In addition to virtual reality technology, this is the type of application that gigabit networks are built for. Now consider that Google has a hand in all three fields – street-view technology, virtual reality, and high-bandwidth networks. You can imagine the convergence ahead.
Jun 1, 2012