Maybe they’re not completely prehistoric, but to many, long gone are the days of encyclopedias and paper maps. In our 21st century digital world, learning about travel is accomplished two ways: touring it online, and talking about it with others that have experience and knowledge about the destinations.
Learning and hearing about a destination firsthand is where the expertise of a travel professional comes in handy. Researching and learning about a destination beforehand is also excellent, especially if you’re using the brand new redesigned platform, Google Earth.
Get Ready to Be Amazed
You probably heard of Google Earth before but if you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s definitely worth checking it out now. Google released an updated version and to be honest, it’s quite amazing. It’s also a way to get lost in time. Once you start, you can easily spend hours as you visualize all the wonders of the world.
The newest feature you’ll want to check out is called Yoyager, which is a collection of interactive guided tours. There are tours under the headings of Travel, Nature, Culture, History and one called Editor’s Picks. Yoyager takes you on a tour to incredible places using slideshows, video, and text panels, something Google calls Knowledge Cards.
The guided tours are pretty incredible. There are tours from all over the world. I got mesmerized viewing the Paris tour. It makes me want to go back. If the upcoming Journeys for Women tour to France allowed men, I would definitely want to make the trip with Carol and the gang!
How Does Google Do This?
It’s incredible to think of how far we’ve come with regard to photographing the earth considering that it was only 49 years ago that man landed on the moon and took the first photos of our planet from space. Google Earth takes us on a virtual flight practically anywhere we want to go thanks to technology advancements and their passion for bringing the world to everyone. But how do they do it?
I learned a lot from a pretty awesome video produced by Nat and Friends on YouTube. They have a connection to Google and insight as to how Google works and how technology is being implemented today. Check out the video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suo_aUTUpps
In a nutshell, Google starts with satellite images. For 3D modeling, which is a series of images that are blended together, Google actually uses planes that fly overhead taking thousands of pictures. You may have heard about Google “Street View”, where Google cars ride around and photograph cities, neighborhoods and public areas…. Well, Google planes create an aerial view. It’s really quite amazing. Watch the video, you’ll enjoy it.
How to get the new Google Earth
Google Earth runs best on Chrome. It does require a download. You can simple search for “Google Earth”, or click here: https://www.google.com/earth/explore/showcase. Download the latest version and you’re on your way.
Once you have it installed, you’ll be able to click on the newly designed left navigation panel for different options. That is where Yoyager is housed. As I mentioned, Yoyager offers different experiences. Check them all out.
Of course there is a search feature, which is displayed as a magnifying glass. Here you can type in any address and be whisked away on a magic carpet in just a matter of milliseconds. Imagine going from Pleasanton, California to Paris in .5 seconds!
Another fun feature is “I’m Feeling Lucky”, which is depicted on the navigation toolbar by dice. One you try this, you’ll see how quickly this becomes a total time hog!
Carol and her team have some incredible trips coming up, such as Scotland, France, and New Orleans and Natchez to name a few. Why not spend a few moments (ahem…. If you can pull yourself always from it) checking out these cool places. Once you see what you’ll be missing, you’ll be calling Journeys for Women to join the group!
Contributed by Adam Lapsevich
Adam Lapsevich owns SpoonDrawer Media Group, a digital marketing agency and web development firm located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Before starting his company, Adam spent over 20 years working for several major cruise lines and has traveled to over 50 countries. His passion for travel and technology is only rivaled to his passion for animal rescue and gourmet cooking.
Adam is the dog-father to 3 amazing Pomeranians, Lulu, Rusty and Petula. Together, he and Petula, who is a registered therapy dog, visit seniors in assisted living and nursing homes, as well as hospitalized children at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.