Google Earth has added panoramic photos to land you right in the middle of the world's most beautiful locations, without shelling out a fortune on an airfare.

Google's incredible multimedia mapping software now has a new layer to display the geotagged photos. Turning on the layer allows you to see user-submitted photos from location-based photo-sharing sites Panoramio and 360cities.net.

Panoramic shots are marked with a red square icon in Google Earth. Clicking on one brings up an info bubble telling you who took the shot. Click again to go into full-screen 360-degree viewing mode to zip round the high-resolution photo and feel like you're actually there. Kinda.

360cities features the same fantastic 360-degree scrolling around the panoramic shots right in your broswer, making you feel almost like you're actually there. Sorta.

Other layers on Google Earth include weather, roads, 3D buildings and 'global awareness', a layer that allows charity and non-profit do-gooders to illustrate the work they do.

To get involved, all you have to do is take a panoramic shot and submit it to one of the sharing sites, geotagged with the location it was taken. You can manually geotag pictures, but a number of cameras now have GPS built-in, including the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10, Sony Alpha SLT-A55 and Samsung ST1000, all winner's of our prestijus Editors' Choice award. Click through our gallery to see some of the pictures already on Google Earth.

A beautiful night sky taken at Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen in northern Hungary.
The info bubble for each panorama on Google Earth.
The traditional city panorama, here showing Budapest.
A perspective-bending snap of the Charles Bridge in Prague. Lairy stag party just out of shot.
Fremont Street in Las Vegas, home of the Consumer Electronics Show.
Halong Bay in Vietnam, where scenes from Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies were filmed.
A moody monchrome shot of Ali Sami Yen Stadium, home of Istanbul football club Galatasaray.
A super-atmospheric snap of Gapang Beach in Pulau Weh, Indonesia.
A bucolic, tyrolean scene in the German hamlet of Heppenheim, home town of new Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Liverpool's Albert Docks, with the iconic Liver Building on the left.
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, home of our chums at CNET.com.
Mid-town New York from the Empire State Building.
Fish in the Pacific.
Red Square in Moscow, showing the famous Kremlin and Lenin's mausoleum.
West 42nd Avenue in Vancouver on Boxing Day.
An incendiary sunset over Beruwala in Sri Lanka.
Yoga at sunset in Istria, a peninsula in the Adriatic Sea.
Under Sopot's pier in Poland.
A gorgeous shot of Lion's Head in South Africa.
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