Virtual Tourism

Virtual tourism, google maps mashup, google video

Formalhaut B

FormalhautI've added the latest amazing Hubblecast video to the Star Viewer Map. The latest video shows the first visible light snapshot of a planet circling another star.

Estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter's mass, the planet, called Fomalhaut B, orbits the bright southern star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus (the Southern Fish).

London in 3D

I've just added the 100th building (Buckingham Palace) to this Google Earth Browser collection of the best 3D models in Google Earth. You can now take a tour of eight cities Paris, Rome, Tokyo, London, Washington, Berlin, Beijing and Chicago.

London is the latest city to have been added and this new collection includes, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and a number of other iconic buildings in the English capital.

To view the collection you will need the Google Earth Browser plug-in and be using Windows.

London in 3D

Sevilla Cathedral, Spain

Sevilla CathedralThe Sevilla Cathedral is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world.

Construction of the cathedral began in 1402 and continued into the 16th century. It is the largest of all Roman Catholic cathedrals (Saint Peter's Basilica not being a cathedral) and also the largest Medieval Gothic religious building, in terms of both area and volume. It is 76 by 115 meters, and was built to cover the land previously occupied by the Almohad Mosque. Its central nave rises to a height of 42 metres and even the side chapels seem tall enough to contain an ordinary church. Its main altarpiece is considered the largest in the Christian world.

View a video of Sevilla Cathedral on Google Maps

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Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat ArunWat Arun is a Buddhist temple (wat) in the Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

The outstanding feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower). It may be named "Temple of the Dawn" because the first light of morning reflects off the surface of the temple with a pearly iridescence. Steep steps lead to the two terraces.

View a video of Wat Arunon Google Maps

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This tour of Chicago takes in Frank Gehry's stunning Jay Pritzker Pavilion and Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate sculpture. Also featured in this tour of Google Earth's 3D buildings in Chicago is the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum and a number of other Chicago sights.

To view the tour you will need to have installed the Google Earth plug-in and be using Windows.


Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Georgia

Svetitskhoveli CathedraThe Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, literally, "the Living Pillar Cathedral", is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in the historical town of Mtskheta, Georgia. The current cathedral was built in the 11th century by the Georgian architect Arsukisdze, though the site itself is even older dating back to the early 4th century and is surrounded by a number of legends associated primarily with the early Christian traditions.

It is the second largest church building in the country, after the recently consecrated Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral, and is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

View a video of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral on Google Maps

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Star Viewer Update

I've added two more of the wonderful Hubblecast videos from the European Space Agency to the Star Viewer map.

One of the videos is about Abel 2667. Abell 2667 is a cluster of galaxies, located about 2.7 billion light years from the Earth. The cluster is at least 350 times our Galaxy's mass. That much mass creates a lot of gravity, and that gravity is tearing the galaxy apart.

The other video looks at a ghostly ring of dark matter formed long ago during a colossal collision between two galaxy clusters.

Star Viewer

I've added three new layers to the Star Viewer map.

If you check the constellations box the constellations will load from the file that Google uses on their own Google Sky. If you check the 'Sat' checkbox you can view the position of the satellites orbiting the Earth. The 'Hubble' checkbox will show you the current position of the Hubble telescope.

Thanjavur, India

Thanjavur is famous for the Brihadishwara Temple (or Brihadeeswara temple) built by Rajaraja Chola during the 11th century. The Brihadishwara Temple, also known as the Big Temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple is enclosed in two courts, surmounted by a lofty tower and including the exquisitely decorated shrine of Murugan.

View a video of Thanjavur, India on Google Maps


Street Viewer

Michelangelo's DavidToday I've added a number of Italian street views to the Street Viewer. The Italian street views are some incredible images of The Colosseum, The Vatican, Michelangelo's David, The Trevi Fountain and Trajan's Forum.

Berlin and Potsdam

The Brandenburg GateBerlin is truly a wonderful city. This tour of Berlin and Potsdam takes in some of Berlin's historical buildings and the remnants of Potsdam's Prussian heritage. The tour takes in the Bundestag, the Brandenburg Gate, the Sanssouci and a few other delights.

The tour requires the Google Earth browser plug-in and only works in Windows.