News, Culture & Society

Google’s new AR Search tool: See the Wonders of the World

See the wonders of the world without getting on a plane! Explore interactive 3D models of sites from Edinburgh Castle to the Easter Island statues using Google’s new Search tool

  • Google Arts & Culture launched the new tool today ahead of World Tourism Day on September 27
  • Smartphone users will be able to view 37 heritage sites in 3D – and even place them in their own homes 
  • A spokesperson from Google said of the new tool: ‘The goal is to showcase the importance of heritage sites’

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Now you can have an eye-popping journey around the world and sate your wanderlust from the comfort of your armchair – thanks to Google Search’s new augmented reality (AR) tool.

Eventually, 37 cultural heritage sites will be made available as interactive 3D models on smartphones. 

Highlights include Edinburgh Castle, the moai statues of Ahu Ature Huki on Easter Island, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and the Maya pyramid of Chichén Itzá in Mexico.

Now you can have an eye-popping journey around the world and sate your wanderlust from the comfort of your armchair – thanks to Google Search’s new augmented reality (AR) tool. Here Edinburgh Castle has been brought into a living room by the new function

Google Search's new augmented reality tool seen in action with Easter Island statues

Google Search’s new augmented reality tool seen in action with Easter Island statues

To view an AR site simply perform a Google Search for it (the full list can be found below), then scroll down once the results are up. If a 3D model is available you’ll see it rotating on a blank background under the heading ‘3D model’.

Click ‘View in 3D’ and you’ll then be able to spin the image around using the touchscreen.

Underneath it will be an invitation to ‘view in your space’. Clicking this will place the interactive model wherever the camera is pointed.

Google Arts & Culture launched the new Search tool today ahead of World Tourism Day on September 27.

The tool was developed in partnership with CyArk, a nonprofit organization located in Oakland, California, which strives to ‘digitally record, archive and share the world’s most significant cultural heritage and ensure that these places continue to inspire wonder and curiosity for decades to come’.

The University of South Florida Libraries Digital Heritage & Humanities Collection also collaborated on the project.  

Google Arts & Culture launched the new tool ahead of World Tourism Day

Highlights include Edinburgh Castle. Google allows you to view the sites in a blank space - or your own

Google Arts & Culture launched the new tool ahead of World Tourism Day. Google allows you to view the sites in a blank space (as shown on the right with Edinburgh Castle)

A spokesperson from Google said of the new tool: 'The goal is to showcase the importance of heritage sites and inspire users to engage with cultural heritage'

Google notes if the augmented reality function 'really has you hooked, make sure to check out a few other cool things including dinosaurs, the skeletal system and Apollo 11 by looking them up in Google Search'

A spokesperson from Google said of the new tool: ‘The goal is to showcase the importance of heritage sites and inspire users to engage with cultural heritage’

A spokesperson from Google said of the new tool: ‘The goal is to showcase the importance of heritage sites and inspire users to engage with cultural heritage.

‘A user who is interested in one of these heritage sites will be able to view the 3D model through a simple search query on Google Search on their mobile device. The model will surface in the search results.’ 

Travel-starved tech-users can continue their journey on Google Arts & Culture, which has made hundreds of other destinations available for virtual exploration.

For instance, there’s the option to transport yourself back in time to Ancient Egypt and take a virtual tour of the pyramids of Giza or, if you’re a fan of heights, a tour of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania might pique your interest.

Instagrammers and YouTube stars are also on hand to take you on a journey. You can explore Andalucia with YouTube creator Kikillo or join a virtual walk around Milan with travel-savvy Instagram creator Federica di Nardo.

Google notes if the augmented reality function ‘really has you hooked, make sure to check out a few other cool things including dinosaurs, the skeletal system and Apollo 11 by looking them up in Google Search’. 

THE 37 SITES GETTING THE GOOGLE SEARCH INTERACTIVE 3D TREATMENT 

Ahu Ature Huki, Easter Island

Ahu Nau Nau, Easter Island

Ananias Chapel, Syrian Arab Republic

Ancient Corinth, Greece

Audiencia in Palacio Tschudi – Chan Chan, Peru

Ayutthaya, Thailand

Brandenburg Gate, Germany

Chacmol statue – Templo Mayor, Mexico

Chunakhola Masjid – Bagerhat, Bangladesh

Church of Sveta Sofia, North Macedonia

Edinburgh Castle, UK

Eim ya kyaung Temple – Bagan, Myanmar

El Caracol – Chichén Itzá, Mexico

El Castillo – Chichen Itza, Mexico

Flanders Field American Cemetery, Belgium

Fort York National Historic Site, Canada

Gateway of India

Great Mosque – Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania   

Jaulian, Pakistan

Lanzón – Chavín de Huántar, Peru

Lincoln Memorial

Lukang Longshan Temple, Taiwan

Martin Luther King Memorial

Mesa Verde, USA

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico

Nasa Apollo 1 Mission Memorial, US

Nine Dome Mosque – Bagerhat, Bangladesh

Normandy American Cemetery, France

Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico

Palacio Tschudi – Chan Chan, Peru

Rano Rarako, Easter Island

Shait Gumbad Mosque – Bagerhat, Bangladesh 

Temple of Apollo (Portara), Greece

Temple of Echmoun, Lebanon

Thomas Jefferson Memorial, US

Tomb of Tu Duc (Complex of Hué Monuments), Vietnam

War Canoe – Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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