Virtual Tourism

Virtual tourism, google maps mashup, google video

Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle, or Vajdahunyad vara, is a castle in City Park, Budapest, Hungary, that was built between 1896 and 1908, designed by Ignac Alpar. It is a copy in part of a castle in Transylvania, Romania, that is also called Vajdahunyad, though it is also a display of different architectural styles: Romanic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.

Originally it was made from cardboard and wood for the millennial exhibition in 1896 but it became so popular that it was rebuilt from stone and brick. Today it houses the Agricultural Museum.

View a video of Vajdahunyad Castle on Google Maps

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Frauenkirche, Nuremberg

The Frauenkirche is one of the major churches of Nuremberg and is situated on the east side of the main square. It was built at the behest of Emperor Karl in the Parlerzeit 1352 to 1362 as a hall church.

Inside the Frauenkirche much survives from the Middle Ages, such as the Tucher Altar (1440/1450), the Annunciation Angel and early 16th century chandeliers.

View a video of the Frauenkirche on Google Maps

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National Trust Street View Map

This week Google released some really nice Street View imagery of a number of National Trust properties in the UK. I've put together this map that highlights those National Trust properties with Street View.

The map allows you to take a virtual tour around the Avebury Stone Circle, visit Corfe Castle and walk through the Nyman Gardens.

View the National Trust Street View Map


Santuário do Bom Jesus de Braga

The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte or Sanctuary of Bom Jesus in Braga is a religious and tourist site located in Tenões, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Braga, Portugal.

It was designed by architect Carlos Amarante, commissioned by the Archbishop D. Gaspar de Bragança, to replace an ancient church, built by D. Rodrigo de Moura Teles which was in ruins. Work began on June 1 of 1784 and were concluded in 1811. It was one of the first neoclassical buildings built in Portugal.

View a video of the Santuário do Bom Jesus de Braga on Google Maps

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Osterley Park

Osterley Park is a mansion set in a large park of the same name. It is in the London Borough of Hounslow, part of the western suburbs of London. When the house was built it was surrounded by rural countryside.

The original building on this site was a manor house built for banker Sir Thomas Gresham in the 1570s. It is known that Queen Elizabeth visited twice, on one occasion suggesting that a hedge would be a good idea in a certain location, that was then built overnight! The stable block from this period remains at Osterley Park.

View a video of Osterley Park on Google Maps


Street View Romance

There have been a few attempts to create literary narratives with Google Maps, notably The 21 Steps and Senghor on the Rocks.

So far I have been disappointed that no one has used Street View to help tell a story. Therefore today I decided to make my own very short (and admittedly not very good) story that is illustrated with Street View imagery.

View a Street View Romance

Sea World Tour

I was checking today to see if Google had added any more aerial view imagery to the Google Maps API. It looks like San Jose and San Diego are still the only areas to have Google Maps' version of Bird's Eye View imagery. However I did find that San Diego Sea World is covered in aerial view and in Google Street View.

This means that it is possible to explore Sea World via my Street View and Aerial View synchronised map and get a wonderful view of some performing dolphins.

View the Sea World Tour

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Château de Chaumont

The Château de Chaumont is a French castle at Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, France. The first château-fort on this site between Blois and Amboise was a primitive fortress built by Eudes II, Count of Blois, in the 10th century with the purpose of protecting Blois from attacks from his feudal rivals, the counts of Anjou.

On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, the château passed into the family of Amboise for five centuries.

View a video of the Château de Chaumont on Google Maps