Google Earth Just Made Free Travel Way Cooler

With VR explorations and Google Earth updates, Google is offering a more immersive travel experience for free.

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives."

Carl Sagan's famous words in his book "Pale Blue Dot" remind us to keep perspective that that Earth is teeming with life but not the center of the universe. It's where "we make our stand." Google's new relaunch of Google Earth is making that call to action more actionable than ever with the ability to surf, scoot and fly over the Earth learning details of its inhabitants along the way. 

Google Earth, once only available as an app to download and explore is available on internet browsers, free of download and charge. The search function allows users to type in a specific address: Many users start by entering their own home address and exploring outward from there. The search bar also recognizes important landmarks and other attractions.

For blind exploring the "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature is just a click away. Touch the dice icon and be whisked off to a location chosen randomly.

Many of the points of interests around the globe have in-depth cards packed with knowledge about the location you're exploring. Learn about the intricacies of Himalayan daily life, the history of abandoned civilizations and more through these cards that you can share directly via social media or send a link through text and email. 

Google Earth screenshot

An upgraded feature included in the redesign are the curated voyages. Several of the voyages were created with partnership between Google and forces like BBC Earth, Mission Blue and other exploration and conservation organizations so the imagery and story in these voyages is especially poignant. Select adventures exploring gargantuan cities like New York City and Paris or brush up on trivia knowledge with voyages that cover pop culture. Take a tour of Hemingway's hangouts or learn about Sesame Street's Muppet cast of girls from all over the world. Explore homes all over the world in the voyager story "This is Home" to see the way people live all over the world. 

These updates extend to the previously launched Google Earth VR experience with 27 new locations to explore through a virtual reality headset. The program was previously unavailable to Oculus Rift users, but is now available in Steam and the Oculus Rift store. 

Google Earth screenshot