Google hits the Great Wall of China, virtually

Google has launched a virtual tour of a portion of the Great Wall of China. Its stunning high-resolution images give the feeling of a real visit to the architectural wonder

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14 October 2021 @ 01:16
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The Great Wall of China

The Arts and Culture project of Google has launched a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China. The virtual tour project lets users experience the great monuments around the world as if they are physically present in that space. The Great Wall of China is a generic name given to wall-like fortifications to many ancient Chinese kingdoms built over the centuries, starting as early at the 7th century BC.

Google has opened the the Great Wall of China tour with a collection of over 350 images from one part of the well-preserved wall. The images are accompanied by 35 stories that detail the architectural nuances and historical importance of this section. These stories discuss the military importance of the structure and the technology used in creating it. For example, it presents a high-resolution panoramic view from the five iconic beacon towers -- the Turtle-Shaped Tower, the Watching-the-Capital Tower, the Fairy Tower, the General Tower and the White Tower -- and explains the strategic importance these towers played in the kingdoms' security.

The virtual tour can be an introduction to tourists wanting to either enjoy the architectural marvel they cannot visit due to Covid-19 restrictions or those who want to feel motivated to take a real trip when the situation eases out. The Google project gives stunning pictures of what it calls the "seven hidden gems" along the wall. They include the third pass of Xifengkou, the underwater Jiumenkou Pass, the third Zijingguan pass, etc.

Explaining the importance of the project, Pierre Caessa, program manager, Google Arts & Culture, said in a blog post, "Over 10 million people visit each year—but not everyone has the opportunity to see the Great Wall first-hand. Today, in collaboration with renowned Great Wall expert Dong Yaohui and curators from Gubei Water Town, Google Arts & Culture presents a new theme page enabling people to visit the Great Wall virtually."

Officially, the wall is 21,196,18 kilometeres long and took 2,000 years to make.

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