Virtual Tourism

Virtual tourism, google maps mashup, google video

Street View Slide

Microsoft are working on a very clever Street View type implementation that they have dubbed 'Street Slide'. I won't bother describing it - you can see what it is for yourself by watching the video above.

After watching the video I thought that it might be possible to create something similar using Street View and the Google Maps API. Here's what I have come up with so far: Street View Slide.

My example is nowhere near as impressive as Microsoft's Street Slide but I think that the potential is there. As you can see I've placed the Street View underneath the static side-on street view. However with a little work it should be possible to create some transitions between the static image and the Street View to make it more closely resemble Microsoft's demo.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world. It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, who is also buried there. The mosque was officially opened in the Islamic month of Ramadan in 2007.

The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca being direct influences.

View a video of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque on Google Maps

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The Dragon and the Swan

I've added a new video to the Star Movie Map. The video, from the Spitzer Telescope, shows a lurking dragon hidden behind a dark veil of dust in the constellation Sagittarius.

The video gives us a glimpse into how spiral arms affect the formation of stars.

Check out the new video on the Star Movie Map.

Cathedral of St Andrew

I've just got back from a week at St Andrews in Scotland. Despite the wind and rain I did manage to capture some footage of the cathedral.

The Cathedral of St Andrew in St Andrews, Scotland was the seat of the Bishops of St Andrews from its foundation in 1158 until it fell into disuse after the Reformation. It is currently a ruined monument in the custody of Historic Scotland.

View a video of the Cathedral of St Andrew on Google Maps

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Cas A

Added a new animation of Cas A to the Star Move Map.

A supernova such as the one that resulted in Cas A is the explosive demise of a massive star that collapses under the weight of its own gravity. The collapsed star then blows its outer layers into space in an explosion that can briefly outshine its entire parent galaxy.

Aerial View

Yesterday Google updated the imagery available in their 'bird's eye' view on Google Maps. They added Venice to the cities available. I have therefore updated my Aerial View map to include some of the amazing sights that can be found in the Italian city.

Once on the map use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to load links for views in different countries. Use the north, south, west and east buttons to change the direction of the bird's eye view.


The Orion Nebula

I've added a video of The Orion Nebula to the Star Movie Map. The video is another in the excellent Hubblecast series.

Visible to the naked eye, only 1500 light-years from Earth, the great Orion Nebula has been known about since ancient times. A popular target of Hubble, researchers have now identified 42 new discs within it that could be the beginnings of new planetary systems like our own.

Montacute House

Montacute House is a late Elizabethan country house situated in the South Somerset village of Montacute. This house is a textbook example of English architecture during a period that was moving from the medieval Gothic to the Renaissance Classical; this has resulted in Montacute being regarded as one of the finest houses to survive from the Elizabethan era.

It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building, and Scheduled Ancient Monument. It was visited by 110,529 people in 2009.

View a video of Montacute House on Google Maps


Washington DC, 1903

Here is some archive film of Washington DC in 1903. The film shows a postal worker awaiting mail to be delivered by streetcar on Pennsylvania Ave NW in Washington DC. The streetcar pulls up, the postal worker picks up the mail and loads it into the wagon.

The film is superimposed on top of the modern view of Pennsylvania Ave NW as captured by Google Street View.

Colditz Castle

Schloss Colditz is a castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany.

Used as a workhouse for the indigent and a mental institution for over 100 years, it became notorious during World War II as Oflag IV-C, a prisoner-of-war camp for "incorrigible" Allied officers who had repeatedly escaped from other camps.

View a video of Colditz Castle on Google Maps

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Star Movie Map

A new Hubblecast video has been released. This Hubblecast features a spectacular new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image - one of the largest ever released of a star-forming region. It highlights N 11, part of a complex network of gas clouds and star clusters within our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. This region of energetic star formation is one of the most active in the nearby Universe

You can watch the video embedded on the Star Movie Map. To view the video of N11 click the recently added link at the bottom of the Star Movie Map or use the link in the map sidebar.

Golden Gate Bridge

I've added some vintage footage of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco to the There and Then map.

The archive film has been superimposed on top of the same view as seen today with Google Maps Street View.

View archive film of the Golden Gate Bridge.


St Albans Cathedral

Today I spent the day in St Albans. I took the chance whilst I was there to shoot some video of St Albans Cathedral.

I've just added the video to There & Then, so you can check it out embedded on top of Street View. The video isn't an exact fit but it kind of works.

View a video of St Albans Cathedral On Google Street View.

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