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Grover helps 'Sesame Street' take over Google Earth

Delve into the international world of "Sesame Street" productions with a new Google Earth layer.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
Grover on Google Earth
Global Grover takes over Google Earth. (Click to enlarge.) Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Google Earth can now tell you how to get to Sesame Streets all over the world. A new interactive layer on Google Earth lets you explore Sesame Street Workshop co-productions in international locations such as Ireland, Israel, Germany, and South Africa.

"Takalani Sesame" is the South African version of "Sesame Street." When you click on the signpost stuck at the tip of of the Google Earth South Africa map, it opens a page with facts about the show and a video of the show's intro. Naturally, Elmo makes an appearance.

Each production of the show also provides a special message from a local muppet, giving kids an opportunity to see and hear muppets from around the world. It's a fascinating peek into what other cultures look for in child-friendly furry puppets. Mexico's "Plaza Sésamo," for example, has a green Big Bird with pink and red highlights.

Based on this Google Earth sampling, it does seem that "Sesame Street" theme songs are equally catchy, no matter where they originate. Also, Egypt's "Alam Simsim" intro appears to be blissfully Elmo-free.

The Google Earth layer may be geared for families, but it's just as entertaining for adults who grew up on the program. Plus, it's heartening to know that a fat blue monster shoving cookies into its mouth is universal.