Pennsylvania using Google Earth to promote tourism

Imagine using Google Earth to get information on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address or to visit civil war trails in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell says state officials will be using Google Earth to promote tourism. The state will provide a $285,000 grant to be used for an "unprecedented" partnership among Google Earth, Carnegie Mellon University, NASA, the state tourism office and the National Civil War Museum.

Eventually, Web users will be able to do virtual interactive tours of historic events and places in Pennsylvania. For instance, people "could see a panoramic view along a trail, zoom in to read the inscription on a Civil War monument, or go back in time to witness the change of seasons on a historic battlefield," the governor's statement says.

New technology developed through a partnership among Google, Carnegie Mellon University and NASA's Ames Research Center combines thousands of digital images to create panoramic images that, when merged with time-lapse, let people explore the space through time.

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by Iyaz Akhtar