Screenshot of Google Street View

Notre Dame, Street Viewed / Photo: Author

Virtual tourism of the world’s most famous landmarks just got a whole lot easier.

I’M IN THE MARKET for a house. Problem is, ever since I made the decision I’ve been thousands of miles from my target market. Enter Google Street View. All I have to do is plug in the address from a realtor listing and it’s like I’m standing in front of the property. What a sweet tool.

I’ve applied Street View to traveling as well. Scoping city streets, hostel addresses, and attractions before a trip helps me get an idea of where I want to go and where I don’t, and imparts a sense of familiarity to my surroundings once I actually make it there.

Now, news is out that Google has partnered with UNESCO, the arm of the UN responsible for designating and protecting World Heritage Sites, to produce Street View experiences of some of the most famous sites around the world.

Nineteen ground-level, 360-degree World Heritage views have already been released, featuring primarily European landmarks, and more are in the works. This video explains:

Expect an uptick in “virtual tourism” as a result of the partnership, but I bet UNESCO sees an increase in in-the-flesh visitors to these sites as well.

Community Connection

How long do you think it’ll take Google to make it to these Overlooked World Heritage Sites?