BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Google’s Street View has been capturing images of the world’s most amazing and historic locations for years now, from the bottom of the sea to the tallest mountain peaks in the clouds. The service’s latest addition to its collection includes more than 30 historic sites, such as the ancient city of Petra, Jordan.
Even though many more would recognize the formerly “lost” 3rd-century city from its apparition in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” Petra is now a designated UNESCO world heritage site and counted among the New 7 Wonders of the world.
Google’s most recent efforts in expanding its Street View collection were joined by some high-profile help. To be more exact, Queen Rania of Jordan herself wrote the company’s official blog post announcing the new selection. Seeing that the queen is known for advocating for tourism in Jordan, it’s no surprise she accepted Google’s proposal.
Queen Rania is also a prominent social media user and a great supporter of advancements in technology, an interest that made her the first recipient of Google’s YouTube visionary award. According to Deanna Yick, program manager for Street View, the queen was eager to showcase Jordan’s historical sites.
So with the support of the queen, Google’s team was sent backpacking around Jordan in a tour that took a few weeks. The heritage sites were caught on Google’s “trekker” cameras in 360-degree images; the occasional tourists were removed from the final stitched up feed before going online.
Rania’s eagerness to collaborate with Google for this project was driven by the opportunity to present the region in another light. Jordan is, unfortunately, in the middle of a region that makes it in the international news with overwhelmingly negative stories, which has the gift of discouraging tourism.
“Tourism has been one of terrorism’s many victims. But there is so much more to the Middle East than headlines of horror. Our region is rich with history, heritage and culture, and the world must not lose sight of that,” wrote the queen in the Google blog post.
According to Yick’s own statement, the new images will be made available on both desktop and mobile; using Google’s Cardboard viewer will make the experience more immersive. Part of Street View’s effort, the company’s Cardboard has been touted as an interactive way for students to take virtual field trips “much more impactful than a photo in the textbook.”
Image Source: Hazimiai Blog