Google just made one of the best VR experience even better: Google Earth VR now supports Street View, which will enable you to travel the world from the comfort of your home.
Google released Google Earth VR last November as a timed exclusive for HTC Vive, and the application came to the Oculus Rift platform in April. Google Earth VR lets you explore the globe from a bird’s-eye view and take in sights that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Google also cherry-picked a list of sights to explore that feature higher resolution imagery.
Google Earth VR is impressive, but it came up short of delivering the full Google Earth experience in VR. The application allows you to fly through the air above cities, and in some cases, you can get close enough to cruise between high-rise buildings, but Google Earth VR doesn’t make you feel like you’re a tourist visiting a new location. That is, until Thursday, when Google added the Street View component.
Google Earth VR Street View features ground-level imagery from 85 countries around the world. When you zoom in to the lowest altitude in locations that offer Street View images, you’ll see a bubble on your navigation controller that will transport you inside a 360-degree image of the area. Google said the 360-degree images come from the Street View team as well as user submissions. Street View locations include AT&T Park in San Francisco, which lets you see what it’s like to be part of the crowd. Google also pointed out that you can visit the set location for Old Port in Game of Throne’s Westeros, which you’ll find in Croatia.
The Google Earth VR Street View update is already available. If you have Google Earth VR installed, you should get the update the next time you log into Steam or Oculus Home. The full version Google Earth VR is exclusive to the high-end VR systems from HTC and Oculus, but you don’t need a top-end headset to enjoy Street View VR. Google’s Android and iOS Street View apps support Google Daydream and Cardboard HMDs, too.