When you think of your first time exploring Google Earth, you probably remember entering your own street address and spending time zooming in and out of your neighborhood. A lot has changed since the app debuted, and on Wednesday, Google added new homes to explore as part of the relaunch — giving you access to even more cultures across the globe.
Back in April, Google Earth’s update introduced visual and textual content through partnerships with BBC Earth, the Jane Goodall Institute, and NASA. Using the Voyager Tab, you can see local guides, stories, and photos from a variety of different countries from these specific partners.
The tab also provides content from the Google Street View team that allows you to explore the area while learning about the people who live there. The series — titled This is Home — invites you into the traditional homes around the globe. Through curated photo galleries accompanied by stories and facts, you’re able to get a sense of how one defines their own home by immersing yourself in the cultures and settings.
When Google first added the series, there were five homes user could interactively tour — Greenlandic Illoq, an Inuit Igloo, Bedouin tent, Reed House, and Sherpa home. Since then, the company traveled to dozens of more locations across six contents and added 22 more homes and cultures to explore.
We all know traveling is expensive and sometimes even stressful, but with the new Google Earth update you can travel from the comfort of your phone. Among the new locations you can choose between a village in Madagascar or visit a Paiwan shaman at her home in Taiwan, all with just a few taps on your screen. Through Street View, you can also roam around the different communities and neighborhoods to gain more insight of the different types of environments across the globe.
But the features aren’t always the most upbeat and relaxing. With images and written stories, you’ll be able to gain a new perspective of different hardships other cultures face ranging from economic, population, and environmental pressures. One example includes the Inuit people of Sanikiluaq, who are struggling to build igloos to teach schoolchildren in due to weather conditions not being cold enough to create the correct type of snow.
So, for anyone looking for a different view other than their own home — or for those who already explored the first five locations Google Earth released — the new homes are now live. The app is available for download on iOS and Android.