Armchair world travel just got a whole lot prettier, thanks to the new panoramic images added to Google Earth. Google recently added 360-degree panoramic photos from the users of 360cities.net that let you jump into the nightlife of London, a view overlooking Cape Town, South Africa, or under the sea off the coast of New Caledonia in the South Pacific.
To access the new photos, make sure the Photos layer is checked off and then look for the red photo icons in Google Earth. Hovering over the icon will give you the photo’s name. The first click will show you a snapshot preview, and a second click zooms you into the photo. You can find photos from all over the globe on virtually every continent. Here’s a look at 5 stunning photos from Google Earth’s new panoramic images layer.
(See Related: Strangest Sights in Google Earth)
(Click on any image to zoom)
Amedee Island, New Caledonia
There’s nothing quite like the experience of going snorkeling in a tropical reef. But this photo gives you a sense of how magical it is to have multicolored fish just inches in front of your face.
Located in the heart of Paris, the Louvre museum is home to the Mona Lisa, Venus De Milo, and an Apple Store. The Louvre pyramid is located at the center of the Cour Napoléon, and serves as the entrance to the museum’s reception hall. The pyramid was finished in 1989 and designed by Chinese American architect leoh Ming Pei.
This stunning view was taken from Lion’s Head, a mountain overlooking Cape Town, South Africa. To the right is Table Mountain, whose peak reaches 3,558 feet.
Take a walk through Moscow’s Red Square to check out St. Basil’s Cathedral (center) flanked by the Kremlin on the right. St. Basil’s was originally built in the 16th century during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.
This photo was taken from London’s Albert Bridge on the River Thames during New Year’s Eve 2009. On the left is the London Eye, a 443-foot Ferris wheel that provides visitors with spectacular views of London. Off to the right you can see the British Parliament and Big Ben.
Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter.