Apparently, almost all people who have opened Google Earth search for their homes the first time they open the app or the web-based version. But while it is a good starting point, it should also be more about exploring the world around us, from the comfort of your chair. The latest version of both the Android app and the web version allows us to do just that but in an easier and more interactive way, allowing us to “connect to something bigger than ourselves”.
Version 8.0 has several new features to help you get to know the rest of the world. Voyager is a showcase of interactive guided tours wherein Google teamed up with some non-profit organizations, storytellers, and scientists. There are currently around 50 immersive stories that you can explore, including Natural Treasures from BBC Earth, Gombe National Park with Jane Goodall, and even a stopover in Mexico with Sesame Street’s Lola. More stories are added every week so you probably won’t run out of places to explore.
If you just feel like seeing a random place, you can now click on the I’m Feeling Lucky button. it will take you somewhere random and unexpected. You will see a Knowledge Card so you can learn more about the place, including more pictures of it. You can also click on the stack of cards to see other related places. There are more than 20,000 places already curated but Google so start getting lucky now.
Google Earth also wants to make it about home and so the This Is Home feature lets you explore various traditional homes around the world so you can see how other people live. And when you’re virtually exploring places in 3D (by clicking the 3D button of course), you can share a postcard of your exact view to your loved ones and they too can jump into that view. The new Google Earth is now available on your Android device and on the web.