Google is releasing a new online project that will give users the ability to virtually explore historical sites around the world.
The World Wonders Project is probably best described as a multimedia encyclopedia of 132 historic and notable sites across five continents. The project assembles Google Streetview imagery, Google Earth 3D buildings, UNESCO World Heritage information, videos, and pictures on one page. Visitors to the World Wonders Project can move through the Streetview imagery just like they would on Google Maps.
As well as StreetView style mapping, the World Wonders project will also include 3D models, pictures and YouTube videos of the sites to give users a variety of ways to explore.
Steve Crossan, head of the Google Cultural Institute said: “Google is committed to preserving and promoting all types of culture online. The World Wonders Project brings to life many of the most significant historic sites on earth, making them accessible to an unprecedented global audience.”
The project follows Google’s Art Project which gives users the ability to virtually explore some of the world’s most prestigious art museums. It has also been set to coincide with the fifth anniversary of Google’s release of StreetView
Luc Vincent, the creator of StreetView said: “StreetView has proven to be a very popular and useful tool around the world, helping with everything from getting directions and planning a vacation to solving crimes and promoting cultural awareness. By using our StreetView technology, Google has an opportunity to make world heritage sites available to users across the globe with the World Wonders Project.”
Applications for Education
I hope that in the future Google adds more sites to the World Wonders Project as they have totally ignored Africa and huge sections of Asia in the first release. In the meantime, the World Wonders Project is still a good reference site for the places that are included in the World Wonders Project. Click on the Education tab in the upper-right corner of the World Wonders Project to find and download some teaching guides and media packs for places and themes featured in the World Wonders Project. There are materials for elementary school, middle school, and high school use.