Google Earth brings its breathtaking views into VR

Google may have just launched its major consumer virtual reality effort, Google Daydream, last week, but the company is showing no signs of slowing development on other platforms as it looks to give VR some broader use cases.

Today, Google announced on its blog that it’s bringing Google Earth to virtual reality by way of the HTC Vive. “With Earth VR, you can fly over a city, stand at the top of the highest peaks, and even soar into space,” the post detailed.

It’s not quite the metaverse, but this launch gives Google a major avenue to highlight virtual reality-optimized experiences like 3D flyovers with an interface that is planet-sized. Google detailed that specific experiences will bring you to the Amazon River, the Manhattan skyline, the Grand Canyon, the Swiss Alps and other locations.

The scope of this project is notable but it isn’t Google’s first experience that they’ve created for desktop virtual reality. The company’s 3D painting title, Tilt Brush, has been a favorite amongst virtual reality enthusiasts due to the creative experiences offered, as well as Google’s continued efforts in redefining the application through subsequent updates.

Earth VR will first be launching first for HTC Vive through the Steam store and will be available for free.