Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Google Street View Is Coming to Machu Picchu, Other Incan Sites

Google's cameras will presumably capture some alpacas and llamas while they're at it.

Soon you'll be able to take a virtual tour through Machu Picchu, as Street View is likely to come to the ancient site. Google has asked for, and will likely receive, the Peruvian government's permission to map the Incans' most famous city.

Street View itself is new in Peru: Images of some of the country's largest cities, including Lima, Trujillo, Arequipa, Chiclayo and Piura, went live less than a month ago. Google began taking images in late 2012 and is still here. But the company isn't going to limit itself to cities. It has also asked the Peruvian Ministry of Culture for permission to map Chan Chan and Machu Picchu, presumably as part of its "World Wonders Project," which it launched in May of last year. 

Luis Jaime Castillo, Peru's new vice minister of culture, told me he recently met with officials from Google and that the country would likely approve its request.

"Why not," he said. "It's good for the visibility of the country and it's good for education and tourism."

According to a blog post by Melanie Blaschke, product marketing manager of the World Wonders Project, most of the initial 132 historic sites (from 18 countries) were mapped on specially-made trikes.

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