Virtual travel around the world
Modern technology gives us amazing opportunities to take virtual trips to any place in the world without even leaving home.
Undoubtedly, virtual travels can not and should not replace real travels with all their range of vivid sensations and impressions. But they help us to see any corner of the world for free, even if you yourself can never go there. It’s also a very convenient way to get a lot of useful information in advance and plan your future travels.
You can fly in the stratosphere over the entire planet or over the rooftops of Paris and St. Petersburg, look into the halls of the British Museum or the Kremlin Treasury, be among the mountains and waterfalls of Iceland, or in the wonderful underwater world on the Galapagos Islands… Enough dreaming, you no longer face any obstacles!
Follow the links and discover a new, wonderful, huge world…
1. Panoramas 360cities.net
360cities.net describes the world in picturesque panoramas as poets describe it in verse, artists describe it in pictures, composers describe it in music.
There are tens of thousands of photos from all over the world, and not just ours – there are even panoramas of other planets from one interesting Mars rover. Here you will enjoy a virtual journey through the capital of Nepal, the city of Kathmandu, or study the panorama of London, which was filmed with such high resolution that you can see the faces of people in the windows of houses.
2. Google Photo Tours.
Of course, the ability to view streets on GoogleStreetView maps hasn’t surprised anyone in a long time. But not everyone may know that the participants of this project are still fond of creating photo tours and entire virtual journeys.
These photo tours give an opportunity to walk by the Taj Mahal, look at Dubai from the highest 800 meters high skyscraper in the world – the Burj Khalifa, the whole Paris from one of three observation decks of Eiffel Tower or be transported to Mexico on the pyramids of Chichen Itza. There are also unusual trips, such as descending into a palace-like underground salt mine in Wieliczka, Poland, or diving into a real underwater world in a dozen different places, such as off the Galapagos Islands.
For travelling around Russia, check out RusMap.net (using Google services) – it’s an easy and affordable service for those who often go on business trips, love to travel, or are just about to hit the road. No matter what your destination is, Rusmap will make your trip as pleasant and comfortable as possible.
The “panorama” option allows you to take a virtual walk through the cities of Russia. Perhaps, such an internet trip will be an incentive to take a real one.
3. Google Street View app
When I travel, I often use the Street View app. It’s available for Android and iPhone. The app allows you to view many panoramas located on a world map.
There are both user panoramas and panoramas of Google itself. The service is rapidly evolving and the number of panoramas is increasing before our eyes.
I myself observed a fascinating process of creating a panorama on special equipment. But each of you can also add your panoramas, using your smartphone and obeying app commands.
4. Yandex panoramas
Yandex, too, is actively developing its mapping service, and its maps offer a bird’s-eye view of cities in Russia and the world. For example, fly over Palace Square in St. Petersburg or the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir.
Yandex maps, perhaps, are more visual than Google, there is a mode of viewing panorama and maps at the same time.
5. Air Pano.
Another Russian team’s awesome project is Air Pano. It is a rare case when professional-enthusiasts create products on a level that used to be reserved for rich Internet-corporations. Air Pano’s spherical aerial panoramas, or rather entire aerial tours, can easily outrun both Google and Yandex in terms of beauty and quality of footage.
Filming is done literally from everything that can fly, from planes and hot air balloons to dirigibles and radio-controlled drones. The site now has about 2,000 panoramas from the most beautiful parts of the world. Here you can visit the island of Java on Mount Bromo, or see the Kremlin from different angles, admire the Northern Lights in Iceland or admire one of the islands of Hawaii, to visit the Jordanian Petra, and even look inside the famous Treasury.
The authors of the service have tried with the design and have made to many panoramas appropriate music.
In addition, when viewing the panorama you can switch to another camera just by clicking on the helicopter symbol.
The panoramas are not only colorful, but also educational. Many have names of visible objects on them.
6. Youtube 360 video files
An even more immersive and fully immersive experience is given by 360 degree videos. You can easily look right or left, for example, as you sail past the palaces on a boat in Venice.
You can search for 360-degree videos on Youtube, but you can also search for them on Air Pano.
7. Video Journeys on Vimeo.
You’d be surprised what wonders a good photographer can do with the “timelapse” (slow motion) technique. It’s a great way to show even familiar places in a whole new light and inspire travel.
You can find a great selection of these videos on vimeo.com. Hundreds of videos give you the opportunity to visit the most beautiful places on the planet. You can admire the golden pagodas of mysterious Myanmar, the northern beauty of Norwegian sunsets, romantic views of the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco or other stunning shots from around the world.
8. Virtual museums
Another global Google project is dedicated to art. It’s called the Art Project. Behind a modest name hides an incredible exhibition – tens of thousands of paintings from the best museums in the world. And each picture is shot in such high resolution that you can, for example, consider in detail every stroke of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or look into the eyes of the boyarina Morozova Surikov.
Many museums have graciously allowed to film not only their exhibits, but also the rooms. And now you can, without getting up from your chair, walk around the halls of the Hermitage or the Doge’s Palace in Venice, or visit the museum of the Acropolis in Athens.
If you are a creative person, such virtual excursions will save your time and money and you will get an esthetic pleasure from the works of art no less.
9. Webcam on the ISS
Are you fascinated by the unexplored expanses of the universe? Then watch live webcam broadcasts from the International Space Station. You will have the feeling that the camera is somewhere very close, not 400 km from the surface of the planet.
The image changes slowly but surely throughout the day and you can see for yourself that our blue planet is perfectly fine. Note, however, that video is only available when there is a signal from Earth, otherwise you will only see a splash screen. Sometimes you can see the astronauts’ lives and spacewalks in the video.
10. Webcams around the world
If looking out of the ISS porthole is high and scary, you can look at something more “down-to-earth”. Take a trip to the Maldives, see the iconic Abbey Road intersection, or hang out with a panda in the zoo in Atlanta. From New York City to Bangkok, earthcam.com has a large collection of webcams all over the world. A great way to track the changing time zones of the planet.
At http://a-russia.ru/ you can see a lot of webcams from different interesting parts of Crimea and other places in Russia.
The article was prepared by Yury Fedorov, Head of Free Travelers Club.
P.S. Did you like walking around the world virtually? Would such virtual tours help you to prepare for visiting some interesting places in real travels? Do you have video panoramas which take your breath away? Share your impressions and findings with us in the comments to this article…
Also, don’t forget to tell your friends about this new opportunity to explore the world.