This story is from the category World Specific Developments
Date posted: 13/11/2008
Google has added a new twist to its popular 3D map tool, Google Earth, offering millions of users the chance to visit a virtual ancient Rome.
Google has reconstructed the sprawling city - inhabited by more than one million people as long ago as AD320.
Users can zoom around the map to visit the Forum of Julius Caesar, stand in the centre of the Colosseum or swoop over the Basilica.
Researchers behind the project say it adds to five centuries of knowledge.
"This is another step in creating a virtual time machine," said Bernard Frischer of Virginia University, which worked with Google on the Roman reconstruction.
"The project is a continuation of five centuries of research by scholars, architects and artists since the Renaissance, who have attempted to restore the ruins of the ancient city with words, maps and images," he said.
Also involved was Past Perfect Productions, which reconstructs archaeological and historical sites through virtual reality.
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