By: Nick Gambino
Google Earth has always been cool. Through the interactive mapping platform we’ve been able to travel all over the world with just a click of a button. But now with the VR revolution it’s just hit atmospheric heights of cool.
Up until now Google Earth has been pretty straightforward. You start off with a view of the globe and by clicking on different points of the earth and zooming in you can get all the way down to an eye level view of some of the most exotic locations. With over 2 billion downloads (per Google) it’s proved to be popular.
This works on your desktop, through the web and through the mobile app. But now the HTC Vive app known as Google Earth VR allows you to finally feel like you’re actually there (I mean, obviously, otherwise it wouldn’t be called “VR”).
Download Google Earth VR from the Steam store and strap on your HTC Vive headset to get started. Where do you want to go? Want to walk through the streets of NYC? How about stand on top of Mount Everest? Or maybe you have loftier goals and want to travel through space. All of this and more is possible with the VR app.
Of course, the earth is quite large and can be a little overwhelming when looking at where you should start exploring. Google has devised the VR app to help you with that.
“Now, at 196.9 million square miles, we know the world is pretty big, so we’ve made it easy to find great places to visit,” Mike Podwal, Product Manager of Google VR states in a blog post. “Earth VR comes with cinematic tours and hand-picked destinations that send you to the Amazon River, the Manhattan skyline, the Grand Canyon, the Swiss Alps, and more.”
Now all we need is the app to be available for the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift so everyone can experience the thrill of a VR Earth.
You can download Google Earth VR for free in the Steam store now.