Virtual Travel: Google is Bringing the National Parks to a VR Headset Near You

Bringing the vast beauty of the United States to a much wider audience.

8. 30. 16 by Ramon Perez
Getty
Image by Getty

In celebrating the 100th anniversary of the US National Parks Service, Google has offered us the luxury of witnessing the dazzling beauties of nature, in the comfort of our homes!

Called The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks, it makes use of VR, 360-degree videos, and panoramic photos, in letting us capture nature’s beauty through its designed tours filled with high-resolution photographs of important places, documents and artifacts.

With just one click, you’ll get to witness wonders previously unavailable to those unable to travel to these locations. The series covers five different locales, Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Hawaiian volcanoes, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, Utah’s Bryce Canyon, and Florida’s Dry Tortugas. Viewers also get a guided “tour” from a local park ranger. Google specifically chose lesser known parks to highlight the vastness of the system outside of mainstays like Yellowstone.

According to TechCrunch, the virtual tours could be viewed either online (in the Google Arts & Culture App on iOS and Android), or in the Google Expeditions app for school-use in classrooms.

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The app offers 360 degree and 3D imagery of over 200 places around the world, this dazzling video experience will take both the home-exploration and student-learning experiences, to a whole new level.


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