Google wants to help you travel — even if you can’t leave your home. Google Earth has launched Voyager, a “showcase of interactive guided tours” to enhance Google Earth’s current services.
“With the new Earth, we want to open up different lenses for you to see the world and learn a bit about how it all fits together; to open your mind with new stories while giving you a new perspective on the locations and experiences you cherish,” Google said in an announcement. “It’s everything you love about Google Earth, plus new ways for you to explore, learn and share. Zoom in and see what adventures await you in the new Google Earth.”
Voyager will integrate things like stories and photos with Google Earth to create a new view of each location. You can visit a story within the Google Map view, which will pair with still images, to travel around a city as though you were walking there.
“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,” Google said. “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.”
Google Earth currently has 50 stories to choose from in Voyager, and will be adding more weekly. They have also curated more than 20,000 locations to visit across the world. You can either explore a chosen location, or choose “I’m feeling lucky” to visit somewhere unexpected.
“What you’re never going to find in Voyager is, ‘Here’s a tour of homes of celebrities,’” Rebecca Moore, director of Google Earth, told The New York Times. “What we want to do is inspire people to explore the world through this interactive educational experience. We see it as a way to bridge cultures.”