A new partnership between UNESCO and Google will allow internet users around the world to visit sites of outstanding universal value on the World Heritage List, UNESCO has announced.
Using Google's Street View interface, 18 of the world's 890 World Heritage sites are already available for users to explore. Under the terms of the agreement, Google will soon visit and photograph other sites on the list, focusing particularly on difficult-to-access sites in South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the Netherlands.
"The alliance with Google makes it possible to offer virtual visits of the sites to everyone, to increase awareness and to encourage participation in the preservation of these treasures," said UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova.
Street View provides 360° horizontal and 290° vertical images, taken by cameras mounted on vehicles or, in some cases, tricycles. Following photography, the images are overlaid onto satellite maps to be used on Google Street View, Google Maps or Google Earth.
Destinations available on Street View
Spain: Santiago de Compostela (Old Town); Old Town of Cáceres; Historic Walled Town of Cuenca; Old City of Salamanca; Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches; Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct; Historic City of Toledo
France: Paris, Banks of the Seine
Italy: Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata; Historic Centre of Siena; Historic Centre of Urbino; Historic Centre of San Gimignano
Netherlands: Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout
Czech Republic: Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc; Historic Centre of ?eský Krumlov; Historic Centre of Prague
United Kingdom: Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites; Royal Botanic Gardens, KewReuse content