Google Earth remains one of VR’s most impressive apps, allowing anyone with an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift to travel around the world and immerse themselves in iconic cities and other environments. This week, Earth is pairing up with another piece of vital Google software: Street View.
The most recent update to Google Earth allows you to zoom into a location and then transition from a 3D model into a 360 degree image of the street in question. It’s done by bringing up an orb that represents the location and then placing your head on it to immerse yourself in the image. You’ll find a static screenshot of the given environment, allowing you to explore it in closer detail.
It may be 2D content, but it adds another layer to Earth. Going forward we’d love to see 3D imagery integrate so that we could truly immerse ourselves in these locations. Street View content from a total of 85 countries is available.
Street View itself exists as an app on Google’s Daydream mobile VR platform (and on Google Cardboard), though Earth isn’t yet available in that ecosystem.