Our digital society
    23 May 2020

    Megan Ellis

    Exploring the world with Google Earth

    Thanks to Google Earth, there are still ways to travel the world while in lockdown. Here are a few ways to virtually explore from home...

    While global lockdowns and travel bans mean that you can’t physically travel the globe, Google Earth has a variety of tools that let you explore it digitally. 

    From virtual tours to fun games, here are a few ways you can travel around the world with Google Earth…

    Explore tourist spots with Voyager

    Google Earth’s Voyager tab provides a variety of ways to explore tourist hotspots and famous sites around the world. The Voyager tab highlights some of the most popular places to visit around the world. When you choose to explore an area, you can choose which sites interest you the most. For example, exploring St Petersburg in Russia provides you with places to visit such as St Isaac’s Cathedral, the Tikhvin Cemetery, the Bronze Horseman, and many other cultural sites and museums. Street view lets you see the sites from the view of a pedestrian, while “photo spheres” give you a peek at what places look like on the inside with a full 360-degree view. 

    Explore places in 3D

    When it comes to towering landmarks or deep valleys, the 3D view provided by Google Earth helps you get a picture of the magnitude of these places. Available for certain regions, these 3D zones let you see high-resolution satellite imagery of mountains, buildings, and more. 

    Explore myths, history, and more

    Under the education section in Google Earth’s Voyager menu, you can focus on combining learning with travel. For example, there are activities that pair reading about myths and legends from around the world with their geographic origins. You can also access lessons on history, such as exploring the Underground Railroad movement through the various landmarks and locations associated with the secret historical network.

    Google Earth quizzes

    Quizzes test your knowledge of famous locations and their history, while also letting you explore them. You will be asked a question and provided with three choices as your answer. Whether you answer correctly or incorrectly, you are taken to the location of the correct answer and provided with scenic views and information. You can choose to look around a bit more at the site, or move onto the next answer. Quizzes are grouped by topic or theme, such as ancient civilizations or natural wonders. 

    Carmen Sandiego games on Google Earth

    Google has even introduced a series of Carmen Sandiego mini-games on the Google Earth websites. In these games, you are tasked with tracking down a target and interviewing witnesses. The story takes you around the globe in search of the target as you interview people at different landmarks in each city. Based on clues given by witnesses, you must choose the location you think your target has headed to. These games are great for kids since they provide a narrative and mystery alongside interesting facts about places around the world.

    How to get Google Earth

    If you or your kids want to use Google Earth to explore the world during lockdown, the app is accessible via the web, on mobile, or with a desktop program. You can find out more on the Google Earth website.


    Megan Ellis