YouTube lands on Google Earth

A new feature in Google Earth allows YouTube videos to be embedded at geographical locations. Users can now see videos of Niagara Falls or a view from the Eiffel Tower, for example.

YouTube lands on Google Earth

“This layer offers a new way to explore the world and understand the power of place,” says a statement from Google. “Previously, virtual visitors to Rome, for example, could view the Colosseum from above through satellite imagery, as a 3D building created with SketchUp, and in user-contributed photos uploaded to Panoramio.

Now they can watch YouTube videos filmed on and near the Colosseum and experience it through the eyes of the YouTube users who have been there.”

This new layer appears in the Featured Content folder of Google Earth. When selected, small YouTube logos lay scattered across the map. Hovering over them provides a title, and clicking the icon brings up the video in a small window.

Some videos are relevant to the location – hovering over the British Museum showed videos of the current Terracota Army Exhibition, for instance. However, we found that you’re just as likely to see short mobile phone clips of people staggering out of pubs, giggling.

There are already thousands of videos available, because geotagging has long been possible during the YouTube upload process.

“Our vision here is all about the sense of place. Photos show the local view, but videos add the sense of life. The combination of Earth’s ‘where’ with YouTube’s ‘what’ makes the combined experience that much more complete and compelling,” explains Michael Jones, chief technologist for Google Earth.

See issue 159 of PC Pro, on sale 15 November, to find out how to explore the advanced features of Google Earth.

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