Imagine traveling the world during your lunch break. Thanks to virtual technologies, you can be transported almost anywhere with a simple click and scroll. Check out these 10 great sites that will take you right from your keyboard to an amazing destination, no jet lag required.
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YouVisit helps you do exactly that: visit great places with a VR headset or a virtual tour from your laptop screen. Their high-quality videos and 360 experiences not only let you check out top destinations and landmarks, but YouVisit also enables access to real estate, hospitality, restaurants, businesses, events, sports stadiums and universities. Don’t miss Machu Picchu in Peru!
Talk about a great birthday present. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service, Google launched “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks”, virtual tours that allow you to follow park rangers through some of America’s most treasured outdoor spaces . The tours offer in-depth insights through online exhibits and immersive videos. The virtual tours include: Kenai Fjords (Alaska), Hawaii Volcanoes (Hawaii), Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico), Bryce Canyon (Utah), and Dry Tortugas (Florida).
By creating a growing network of thousands of amazing photographers around the world, 360Cities is the largest collection of 360 degree panoramic photos online. Select anywhere on the map or choose one of their Curated Sets, such as “Nasa’s Curiosity Rover Exploring Mars“, to find exactly what you are looking to experience.
Soar above more than 300 amazing cities with AirPano’s high-resolution panoramic photographs. This not-for-profit website hosts thousands of virtual tours that are mainly from a bird’s eye view, perfect for taking in the entire landscape, but they also offer undersea views or the inside of a microwave! Move in closer and study an area or move around in these virtual tours. Our favorite destinations include Victoria Falls, Cenote Pit or Luxor, Egypt.
These panoramic photos have billions of pixels each. BILLIONS. That means that Gigpan can offer the sharpest, most vivid images enabling you to zoom all the way in without loosing almost any resolution. They are captured with cameras based on the same technology employed by the Mars Rovers. With such quality, you would expect a decrease in quantity, but that is not the case with Gigapan. They have about 50,000 panoramas currently and are growing rapidly.
Visit London is chock full of amazing information and virtual tours of the city’s major landmarks. The site’s interactive map gives you an overhead view from which you can zoom in on London’s top attractions for more information, including Buckingham Palace, London Eye, London Zoo, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and more.
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History allows you to navigate through the building, going from room to room, or you can select an exhibit to learn more about a particular collection. They even include some past exhibits! Smithsonian’s VR technology, which can be accessed through the Google Cardboard mobile app, is still a prototype, but is well worth checking out.
The Louvre Museum is one of the world’s top-visited attractions. Can’t get to Paris this year? The virtual site gives you access anytime. Start in the main rotunda and wander from room to room at your own pace. Click on each exhibited piece for more information. Though it is a very simple site, it contains everything you need to experience the museum as if you were there.
Take a trip to this UNESCO World Heritage Site with a wide variety of formats, including: 360° panoramas, maps, narrated mini-movies, music and text. The site offers 22 different areas to explore, including the dramatic gardens. Your laptop has never looked so good.
Yes, Google Maps. Though I’m sure you know Google Maps has a street view, you may not know how truly gorgeous their imaging is in some locations. Almost every inch of this earth is mapped by Google allowing us to dive into the ocean of summit mountains from our living rooms. You can even go to the moon! All you have to do is search any location, switch to street view, and amazingly you can begin walking around. Some of our favorite VRs are at Stonehenge (UK), the Palace of Versailles (FRA), Milford Sound (NZ), Uluru (AUS), Shibuya Station (JAP), and the Beqa Sharks (Fiji).
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