This year’s Eid Al-Fitr holidays in a few days are going to be a home-made affair as worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) related travel restrictions are only slowly being lifted. Despite this, computer users can still get a taste of the travel life (and escape for a while) from the comfort of their home.
Using Google Street View, a Google Maps and Google Earth feature, users can explore locations around the world, and all in 360 degree imagery.
Google Street View allows people to visit their favourite destinations virtually, right from the comfort of their sofa. Similarly, the Google Arts & Culture app takes images from thousands of art museums around the world, allowing users to zoom in on masterpieces in ultra-high resolution, or walk through museums, just as if they were seeing them in person.
Google Street View visited more than 20 countries around the world, collecting imagery that transports people to new places. It may not be a complete ‘sights and sounds’ experience, but it does allow an opportunity to explore the views of some of the most famous sites around the world.
Every year, people come to Google Search to look for travel destinations for their Eid El-Fitr break, and in Egypt, the US ranks as among the top destinations during this holiday. The travel restrictions due to the coronavirus, however, have meant there is a growing need for online exploration and ‘virtual tourism’ instead.
“Over the past 60 days, we’ve seen Google Search interest spike more than 700% for virtual tours worldwide. People are looking to discover world famous museums, with the Louvre, the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among the five most searched for virtual tours globally,” said Valentina Frassi, Programme Manager at Street View,
Frassi also said that destinations only scratch the surface of what can be explored in Street View. Alongside over 170 billion satellite view (SV) images, there are over 10 million miles of Street View imagery users can freely explore on their own, or with professional guides who take viewers through the virtual walking tours. That’s a distance that could circle the globe more than 400 times!
Street View launched in 2007 to help people explore different places from their computer. Now, the app has become a key part of how we map the world in more than 220 countries and territories.
Through Street View, there’s no need to feel that the world has got smaller. Instead, you can roam through New York’s Times Square, experience the Old City art-scenes of Istanbul with children, get up close and personal with Italy’s art & culture and view Roman ruins. You can, without the hassle of passport control and flights go in the blink of an eye to Baalbak in Lebanon, or visit the Royal Albert Hall and learn about London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. You can even get up close to La Sagrada Familia or learn about Spain’s culture, or take a stroll around the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, all without leaving your home.