Google Maps Streetview provides a great way for students to explore cities and interesting places around the world. As good as Streetview is, it isn’t available for all places (like the peak of Mount Everest) and sometimes even where it is available it leaves something to be desired. Here are four sites and services featuring high-quality panoramic and interactive imagery of famous and interesting places around the world.
Arounder is a free site that offers 3D views of famous places in European cities, North American locations, and the Moon. The imagery is very clear and detailed. Visitors can explore 360 degrees of each image using the simple navigation tools that appear at the bottom of every image. When you’re on the Arounder homepage click on a city to see a map of that city. Then click on the red(ish) placemark icons to explore the imagery.
360 Cities provides extremely clear panoramic imagery of places around the world. The bulk of the images are of places in Europe, but there is also some great imagery from North America, South America, Africa, and Asia. The panoramic imagery of 360 Cities is so clear and transitions so smoothly that I almost made myself dizzy while playing around with imagery of Atlanta, Georgia. Images on 360 Cities can be explored online using the Google Map provided on the 360 Cities website or you can view the imagery in the 360 Cities Google Earth layer. 360 Cities imagery can also be embedded into your blog or website.
View At provides panoramic views of dozens of notable places from around the world. The panoramic views can be viewed on the View At website or viewed in Google Earth. Although they offer different views, in many ways View At is similar to 360 Cities.
Panoramas.dk hosts dozens of interactive panoramas from around the world. The panorama that must have been the most difficult to capture is this view from the peak of Mount Everest. The list of interactive panoramas includes views of cultural festivals and tourist attractions. The database of US panoramic views includes the Grand Canyon, the Jefferson Memorial, and two dozen other panoramas.