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This article was published on November 16, 2016

Google Earth VR lets you explore the entire planet

Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

Google Earth has always helped you explore the world, but now Google is bringing taking the app to the next level: Virtual Reality.

Google Earth VR is a simple but awesome concept. Basically, don a VR headset, and then fly to various destinations around the world. Basically, you get to be Superman for a day.

Given 197 million square miles is a pretty huge area to cover with any modicum of detail detail, Earth VR includes a few preset destinations and tours, including the Amazon River, Manhattan, the Grand Canyon, the Swiss Alps and others.


Of course, Google hasn’t really mapped out the entire world – it’s not like you can visit your favorite bagel shop – but it looks like a really fun way to explore the planet with a bird’s-eye view.

Unfortunately, the app is limited to the HTC Vive for now – other platforms will arrive next year. It would’ve been a nice way to show off Google’s new Daydream VR platform, but it’s also likely the app requires more processing power than what a smartphone is currently capable of.

If you have a Vive though, you can download the app from the Steam Store now for free.