Realities

Tour the World With Google and CyArk Open Heritage Project

Google unveiled yet another great project that allows you to see the wonders of the world from the comfort of your own home.

Developed alongside CyArk, a non-profit organization, Google’s Arts & Culture Open Heritage project allows you to virtually visit 26 world heritage sites in 18 different countries. Each site has complete location data and LiDAR scans, the result of a 15 year-long CyArk endeavor.

You can experience landmarks like the Al Azem Palace in Syria or the ancient temples in Corinth, Greece, by viewing high-res photos and 3D scans on your PC or smartphone. They can be also be viewed in full 360-degrees through a VR headset.

Even better, the Arts & Culture project will be open source, allowing researchers, archaeologists, and even amateur historians to use that data.

“Some of the exciting frontiers are in virtual reality and augmented reality and we are excited to see what type of experiences people can build around heritage data — from immersive virtual tours to overlaying rich contextual information while you are on site — they all start with an accurate map of what is there,” said CyArk’s CEO in a talk with Wired.

If your vacation budget is stretched a bit thin but you’d still like to see Chichén Itzá or at least the Lincoln Memorial, you can visit Open Heritage here and start your virtual vacation.

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