Google is testing out a new way for you to show your friends exactly where you’ve been or where you want to go. Yesterday, the company made new Google Earth tools public so that users can create their own guided tours, superimposed over a map. The web-based tool is called Earth Tour Builder and it could be the best new way to dole out travel advice. Eat it, maps.
Google already has similar offerings, like its Google Virtual Tour Creator, released earlier this year, but the new Earth Tour Builder is more granular, letting users drill down to the street view to mark specific spots they’ve been or want to go. Google Earth previously made guided tours available through its Voyager tab, but these were all professionally made. The big difference here is that anyone can make a project.
Interestingly, the project first began as a way for veterans to record their globetrotting as a result of their service, but has morphed into a storytelling tool that allows users to show their friends and family some of their favorite places and how to replicate the same journey. The tool is currently in beta and billed as “a Google Earth experiment” on the build page, but anyone can access it.
We’ll walk you through the basics of how to create your first Google Earth Tour, with a focus on the bridges in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Google also has additional instructions here. To check out our final tour creation, click here.