Google’s latest project gets royal assistance

Google’s latest project gets royal assistance

Google teaming up with Queen Rania of Jordan to add regions, landmarks to Street View.

Google announced Monday that it plans to add more than 30 historical sites from Jordan to its street view functions. Among those included is the ancient city of Petra, a designated UNESCO heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the world.

The Washington Post reports that Google’s new project will be assisted by Queen Rania of Jordan. Queen Rania was approached by Google because of her tourism advocacy and interest in technology. Queen Rania was the first ever recipient of the YouTube Visionary Award, and has a strong social media presence.

According to Deanna Yick, Street View’s program manager, Queen Rania was willing and eager to show how her country and others are using the Internet. She was also enthusiastic about the opportunity to record historical landmarks as they are today.

A team was sent to Jordan by Google, equipped with backpack cameras, intending to gather 360-degree images of the chosen sites. The images were then edited, removing team members and tourists, before being added to Google’s Street View.

Queen Rania said she saw the Street View project as a way to counteract some of the negative media attention the region receives. Rania said in a statement, “…tourism has been one of terrorism’s many victims,” adding “Our region is rich with history, heritage, and culture, and the world must not lose sight of that.”

Google will make the images viewable on desktop and mobile devices. The images will also be visible with Google’s Cardboard viewer, as a way to take students on “virtual field trips.” Google Cardboard recently launched a program to obtain images from Mars, Machu Picchu, and the ocean floor.

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