Google recently added some new Voyager tours titled ‘I Am Amazon’ featuring various stories from the Amazon. These tours are exclusively for the new browser-based Google Earth and the Android app. Read more about the tours on Google’s blog. This announcement came shortly after Google added Brazilian indigenous territories to their mapping products.
At the announcement event for the ‘I am Amazon’ Google Earth Director Rebecca Moore made an interesting comment to Reuters. She mentioned that Google plans to allow the public to share their stories via the Voyager platform at some point in the future (two to three years). This has led to speculation that it may become ‘the next Great social network’. It is certainly a great idea and we have previously suggested it when Google released the new browser based Google Earth.
So while we wait, what opportunities exist for sharing today?
Since the very early days of Google Earth, there has been the Google Earth Community, a forum where Google Earth enthusiasts share interesting locations and a wealth of information about them. However, the community is not integrated into Google Earth and is independent of Google.
Sharing geolocated photos can be done via Google Maps, and although accessing those photos in Google Earth classic currently doesn’t work, they are visible in the new browser based Google Earth. Panoramio, formerly the most popular way to share panoramic photos via Google Earth, was discontinued earlier this year and the photos will likely be removed from Google Earth this November.
Google Earth used to be partially integrated with Google Maps Gallery, a site where users could easily share maps. However, Google Maps Gallery relied on another Google product, Google Maps Engine, which was discontinued in early 2016, so there is no longer a good public map sharing site linked to Google Earth.
You can, of course, share your Google Earth content via any other platform in the form of KML files, which users can download and view in Google Earth. If you want to create Voyager-like tours for the new Google Earth, then be sure to check out the tour maker by geteach that we had a look at in April. If you want to create dynamic content that changes over time, then look into KML network links.