Do you want to visit tourist spots but can’t afford the luxury? No worries, Google Earth has got you covered. A major upgrade to its virtual tour guide feature includes tours exceeding 100,000, as well as 1 million photos from user submissions. The announcement comes from the official Google+ page of Google Earth. Besides the newly added popular tourist destinations that span 200 countries, the update also brings in refinements to existing tours. And complementing the snippets from Wikipedia and 3D flyovers are the Panoramio photos:
The new, richer tours combine … – for the first time – place highlight and more than 1 million user-generated Panoramio photos in order to create an immersive and educational exploration of your favorite places. Each tour ends with a selection of photo thumbnails which were selected from Panoramio as the best representation of a given place. Clicking on one of the thumbnails enables a full screen photo experience.
Many users welcome the update. A Robert Woldman commented that the tours let people “enjoy the world without enjoying the world.” Another user, Leo Somera, says, “This is a great way to sample before you go. A few times, I got fooled by ads or commercials with a destination that looks great on media, but fails in person.” First introduced in October, the tour guide acts as a local expert that recommends interesting locations in the proximity as you navigate the globe in Google Earth. Available on Windows and mobile devices, the new tours can be viewed without installing a software update to Google Earth 7.0.