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Bellatrix's avatar

Where have you visited using Google Earth or similar online sites?

Asked by Bellatrix (21146 points ) August 25th, 2012

My answer in this question inspired me to ask all of you where have you travelled to virtually?

It doesn’t have to be through Google Earth, it could be through photographs or YouTube videos you have watched or some other site you can share with us. What places have you virtually experienced (present-day or historical)? Tell us about your journey.

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17 Answers

DigitalBlue's avatar

A friend of mine took me on a virtual tour of LA on Google maps streetview, it was actually really fun. (He lives in LA, I have never been there.) I tried to return the favor, but he determined that where I live just looks depressing.

gailcalled's avatar

I periodically revisit all the homes I have lived in, including my paternal grandfather’s Victorian house in the Bronx which is now part of the Albert Einstein Medical Complex.

The extraordinary Google Art Project lets one roam the famous museums of the world and hone in on individual paintings.

Vermeer, for example.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When I facilitated a workshop that was held for hotel managers from all over the world, I would often ask them during a break where they were from. Then I would pull it up on Google Earth. It created a powerful connection between us as we zeroed in on their town.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t have Google Earth, but I’ve done some armchair touring via Streetview.

I explored the section of Amsterdam where my son was staying and followed the streets he was traveling by bicycle. I visited a neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, where an old friend used to live and checked out an area of London that I’d seen in a movie. I scoped out my brother’s new house in Maine and my son’s former residence in Pennsylvania. I’ve taken a number of nostalgia tours to places where I’ve lived just to see what they look like now. I’ve also used it to get a feel for places I was using in fiction.

But I use this function most often to gain a little familiarity with a location I’m going to drive to for the first time, such as for an appointment or to meet a friend for lunch. I have a horror of getting lost. It’s nice to know what I’m looking for and spot landmarks that will identify where to turn or when I’ve gone too far. I can even figure out in advance what sort of parking challenge I’m going to have. This is such a great feature that it’s hard to argue against what feels like a loss of privacy. I mean, I know that anyone can drive down my street and look my house over, but it feels a little weird to know that someone in Acapulco or Algiers can do it without leaving home.

Supacase's avatar

I checked out remote areas of China to get a better feel for a book I was reading. Very interesting.

DeanV's avatar

Definitely. It’s proved really useful when looking for apartments.

reijinni's avatar

quite a few places near and far.

CWOTUS's avatar

We build power plants all over the world. Many times they are extensions of plants we already know somewhat, so there’s not so much mystery about what we’ll see there. However, a lot of our plants are built so far out in the hinterlands that, as the saying goes, “It’s not the End of the World, but if you climb high enough in the building you can see that place.”

So sometimes when we get a proposal (and always when we get a contract) for a new plant in East Bumfuck, India, I check the place on Google Earth and save it as one of My Places.

wundayatta's avatar

I usually visit places we plan to visit, and identify potential places to stay in via google maps. I’ve found some interesting places that way.

Sometimes I visit a friend’s location via google maps, just to see where they are hanging out. And sometimes I try to visit people around the world. Unfortunately, the images for Beijing are not very high resolution.

Sunny2's avatar

I went to an address I remember from my childhood. The house is gone. It and the lot are now part of a university parking lot. It made me kind of sad. I guess we have to accept that progress obliterates memoried places.

JLeslie's avatar

My own house.

Hotels and restaurants that I plan to stay the night or eat at when we are towing our trailer. I look at the parking lot to make sure we can get in and out without needing to turn around.

I just used it when looking at the cities we were going to on a cruise.

I’m going to look up my childhood address after reading this.

Blackberry's avatar

A friend and me were checking out a small town in Wyoming that has 100 people in it. They had decent sized houses, but there was no grass anywhere. It was like a deserted suburb. There were no businesses, so I imagine they have to travel far to do things.

cazzie's avatar

It helped me househunt a year and a half ago, here in Norway. It helped me help my sister househunt in Arizona! That was cool, combined with the vitual tours of the houses that the real estate people had online, I felt like I was right there with her.

I was able to show my young son where I lived in New Zealand. My husband travels the world, so once, he phoned me from Korea and said, ‘I don’t have internet here, can you tell me where I am?’ After I stopped laughing, I got online, looked up where his hotel was and was able to recommend to him where to go for dinner and sightseeing and where he could hire a bicycle to do a bit or touring around. (because of a conference being held in his destination city, he ended up staying a few km north of what he was familiar with from previous trips. He had fallen asleep on the taxi and woke up COMPLETLY disoriented. It was hilarious!)

And, just today, my husband pinned on his facebook that he was at a particular pub last night in Oslo that I hadn’t heard of, so I google earthed it, to see the street it was on. (Nice of him to go out for me on my birthday while I sat home sick with the kid.)

flutherother's avatar

I used Google Street View just now to check the route to a show I’m going to see at the Edinburgh Fringe tomorrow. I used it to check my holiday destination in Italy to see what the environs of the hotel are like. I have explored a road running over the continental divide in the USA, a road into the Blue Mountains in Australia and one that runs up the eastern side of Loch Lomond. (I can recommend that one as they got a lovely morning to take the pictures.)

I took a look at my old house to find the owners have built a large extension. I checked out where my daughter is presently living in London. I probably use it once or twice every week. It is amazing.

anatidaephobiac's avatar

Just about everywhere, my aunt gave me a virtual tour of the new neighbourhood recently after moving, not too shabby when it’s an 8+ hour flight away. I regularly look at places while watching tv, for example getting a sattelite view of craters in belgium while watching a documentary, or similarly the terrain at point du hoc for the DDay landings. Great to take a trip down memory lane too and re-visit places i’ve been years ago without getting off the sofa.

Bellatrix's avatar

Sorry it has taken me a while to come back and thank you all for your fabulous answers. I think it’s great we can go back and visit our childhood haunts, places we are fascinated by and that Google Earth is a security tool too. I had never thought of using it to scope out places I have to visit. That’s a great idea.

Thanks again people. Happy Google Earth travels.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I went to my old schools. One of them I could only get to the drive to because that school had a seriously long driveway.
I went to my old homes, that I could remember at least, having moved so many damn times. I can’t remember all of them, but I know I’ve been all over the shop so to speak.
I’ve visited Times Square, my parents may well have been fortunate enough to visit there but I’ve yet to go. They went for their silver wedding anniversary a couple of years back.
I’ve visited some famous landmarks, with the exclusion of the Eiffel Tower, I went there once already in real life (and I can remember on the same day I went up to the top of it, later on that day, the tower was struck by lightning, and I think one person was killed. So that was a close call by any stretch of the imagination).
I also like looking for castles. I have this thing for castles for some obscure reason. I’ve always liked them. Particularly the ones in France, but definitely the ones in Germany.
I don’t like the ones that are largely ruinous masses of brick and stone. They can get rebuilt then I’ll be interested, until then, just not bothered.
There are some people I’ve chatted to on the internet that have told me where they live, so yes, I went and ‘visited’ their houses just to see how good (or how godawful) they looked (and one was terribly atrocious). One was a nice cottage in…Welshpool I think. Very nice but out in the middle of absolutely bloody nowhere. My kind of hideaway that is. I even did have occasion to actually visit there once, and it’s nice both inside and out. Proper fires in two rooms downstairs, the stairway was a bit weird (I don’t like steps that you can see the ground floor between it just weirds me out, I’ve never been good with heights) but anyway I digress….one more thing..massive garden. You wouldn’t believe the size of the garden at that place was incrediculous. Tiny cottage..HUOGE garden (as opposed to ‘huge’ to emphasis the enormity of it).....

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