Google offers virtual tours of world famous sites

Associated Press + More

MADRID (AP) — A virtual stroll among the ruins of Pompeii or into the temples of Kyoto is available to anyone with an Internet-connected device through Google's new World Wonders project.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is offering virtual tours of 132 famous sites in 18 countries as part of an expansion of its Google Art initiative.

The service includes information in six languages, photographs and video of historical places gathered using Google's Street View technology.

Other sites include the Versailles Palace in Paris, Australia's Shark Bay and the Yosemite National Park.

Google launched the project Thursday in Madrid, saying its purpose is to support the preservation of historic places around the world and bring them to a wider audience.

The project is run in collaboration with the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.