Google Earth Joins the SteamVR Family

Posted on 17 Nov 2016 by
David Pink

The always hip and up with the trends, Google Inc. have recently launched their first HTC Vive title with Google Earth VR. Wanting to bring the whole wide world into the realm of virtual reality, what better way to do that than to literally bring the world into VR.

Google Earth has been around for over 10 years, with over two billion downloads and countless time lost by users exploring every nook and cranny, clicking and scrolling all over the globe. I’ve used Google Earth hundreds of times over the years, sometimes exploring for hours on end, from flat 2D landscapes to highly detailed 3D models and the occasional Street View. I can honestly say that you’ve never had the sense of globetrotting from home like this before, the Google Earth VR experience will take you to a whole new level.

At 196.9 million square miles, the earth is absolutely massive! It’s been done before, traveling the world from point A to point B, but it requires an awful lot of energy, time and money, but thanks to Google, that journey just got a whole lot easier. Earth VR is jam packed with numerous cinematic visual tours, specially hand-picked destinations for all of us to enjoy at our leisure, or you can manually take yourself anywhere you choose.

Flying around the environment and giving yourself the perfect angle is as simple and intuitive as it can be, with the right motion controller, you can zip along the environment, zoom in and become like “Godzilla” walking around the city. With the left controller you can fine tune your selection and visit anywhere in the world within seconds.

Currently Google Earth VR is available only for SteamVR, with the promise of bringing this epic experience to other VR platforms sometime next year. If you are like me, who doesn’t own a legit HTC Vive, (I use VRidge app via Android) or if you use the Oculus, Reddit users CrossVR and Shockfire7 have made a simple tutorial to easily fix and remove the Vive exclusiveness.

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