Here in the U.S. this week is National Parks Week. That means that it is a time to celebrate “America’s Best Idea” and to make that happen visitors will find that all entry fees are waived through April 28. That said, not all of us can escape to our favorite national park this week to take advantage of this offer. Thankfully, there are other ways to explore these iconic landscapes however, with Google lending a helping hand with its Google Earth software.
If you haven’t used Google Earth before or don’t have it installed, you’re missing out. It is billed as the “world’s most detailed globe,” but even that would be an understatement. The software is not only a lot of fun to fire up and just explore various parts of the world –– with important points of interest labeled and explained –– but it has been an instrumental part of many explorers’ planning process in recent years too. It is an amazing tool for anyone planning to travel or just doing research on a specific location, with a wealth of information right at your finger tips.
To celebrate National Parks Week however, Google has added virtual tours of 31 of America’s national parks. These tours were created as part of the Internet search giant’s “Voyager” program, which integrated detailed satellite maps, 3D models of important landmarks, sweeping fly-through animations, and much more. All of that tech is put to good use in the national park tours of course, allowing virtual visitors to explore those places, which is the next best thing to being there in person.
In order to take advantage of these virtual tours you’ll either need to install Google Earth on your device –– it is available for iOS and Android as well as Windows and Mac. Alternatively, you can view it in a browser, but you’ll need the Chrome browser to properly take advantage of that process. Either way, this is a piece of software that any would-be explorer should have at their disposal.