Hey, have you tried Google Earth VR on HTC Vive?

Google Earth VR is a like a God mode in traveling around the world in virtual reality. See what Google has done make this a great experience for the app.


Google finally launched the Earth VR for the HTC Vive for free. Letting users experience a whole new way to view the world in virtual reality. Google Earth VR lets you touch and explore an incredible dataset—high-resolution satellite imagery, aerial photography, and photogrammetric recreations of major cities. These are all integrated seamlessly into the model of Earch.

Once you have your HTC Vive on, you will find yourself in outer space looking at a smaller version of our planet against a pitch black space background. The Vive’s controllers with let you hold the top half of the right trackpad to zoom in down the planet. And in classic Google Earth, once you are close enough, you will see labels of useful names of countries in your current view. You will be able to fly face-first towards the ground and if you want to get closer, you’d have to tap the left trackpad. This will make you see the horizon in 90-degree point of view. Now, you can feel, like a god watching over the earth.

Worried that you might get motion sickness with all the flying? Don’t worry. Google Earth VR uses teleporting technique so you won’t have to feel motion sickness as you zip through the planet. You can fly in any direction you point your controller into.

On the ground level is where all the awesomeness starts to happen. The planet looks crisp with high-res satellite images and elevation data. You’d feel like an astronaut orbiting the planet. You’d find the major cities of the world in full 3D. It’s a really spectacular way to experience something you know in an entirely new way.

What you’d realize afterwards is that for the first version of this app, there’ll be no search function. You’re on your own finding the right place to visit and explore through your geographical knowledge. Don’t worry, you can take a snapshot of your travels by taking a photo of a place to bookmark it and will be in your Saved menu. You can go directly back to that same spot anytime you want. There’s also several pre-installed guided tours which take you to scenic locations and even give an ambient soundtrack to make things that much more serene. One day I imagine such guided tours could have voice-overs that teach you something about each place you visit.

For the HTC Vive only? For now, yes the Google Earth VR is only for the HTC Vive only. Although SteamVR supports the Rift, the developers have chosen not to support the headset at this time, and aren’t saying if or when they might.

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