In this year, Google added features like browser support, 3D maps and informative Knowledge Cards and currently added Live Video Feeds. Recently Google has been hard at work on new features that should restore its wow factor.
Google introduced the Voyager tab to Google Earth, a curated section of the program that whisks users away to see a particular sight. Now, this part of the software has been updated to support live video feeds, which lets you take interactive guided tours of interesting places.
The first location that you can check out up close is the Katmai National Park in Alaska, which sees brown bears emerge from half a year of hibernation to catch salmon in the Brooks River. These cameras in Katmai are only the start of live content in Google Earth. Over time we’ll likely see Google continue working with programs such as Explore.org to bring more live cameras to the service from around the world. In the meantime, I recommend checking out the “Lower River” camera for some active tracking on the bears.
Last month, Google Earth partnered with National Geographic to launch new content as part of the Voyager program. Google also supplied schools with Cardboard viewers and other hardware to allow students to take part in Expeditions, tailored VR “field trips” that take learners away to exotic locations.
Google Earth is a really amazing project, and it’s great to see Google putting so much effort in recent months into using it to its full potential. Whether it’s exposing Americans to the important role of the country’s national parks, or giving students a taste of the wider world, this piece of software has the capacity to do a great deal of good.