Visit Ancient Rome via Google Earth

Ah, Google Earth. One of my favorite distractions, along with Trio, a little game I installed on my iGoogle page.

Google Earth, which I once used to “fly” along the southern Italian coastline with my son, has unveiled the remarkable Google Earth view of Ancient Rome.

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The three-dimensional simulation painstakingly reconstructs some 7,000 buildings of ancient Rome, including the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Circus Maximus.

The program also hosts a new layer that allows you to see how Rome might have looked in A.D. 320, a city of about 1 million people under Emperor Constantine. Ingenious pop-up windows provide information about all the monuments, and you can “enter” some of the sites, including the Senate and the Colosseum, to study the architecture and marble decorations.

Bernard Frischer, who heads Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, told eSchoolNews that experts worked for about a decade to reconstruct ancient Rome within its 13-mile-long walls. Now Googler Earth Rome can be used for broader educational purposes and Google is sponsoring a competition for U.S. teachers, offering prizes for outstanding curriculum using the new tool. Here’s the video introduction about Google Earth Rome:

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