Why settle for street view when, thanks to advancement in photography and stitching software you can now have the ability to get a panoramic view of your favorite city or place right at the comfort of your desk. Virtual tours are the latest tools for travellers and yes even for you who are longing to be a tourist but is yet to have the budget.
Without a doubt many enjoy the exhilarating experience of being on top of a tall building and having that bird’s eye view. But lest we forget, there may be some who just have a fear of heights. So lucky for you, I have a list of the top 5 best websites that you can visit to experience that delight brought about by panoramic views.
1001 Wonders. Wanting to tick off that to-do item to see at least one of the wonders of the world? Then go over this site and have your private tour of some of the places listed by Unesco as the World Heritage List. It is a project in the making so currently there are only 263 places that you can have a virtual tour of. This is a brilliant site to browse through as the images are just stunning and makes you feel that you are actually there walking.
360Cities.net is also a cool site to come by when you feel like being anywhere but where you are at. So have a break, grab a cuppa and enjoy the panoramic views that also features interactive tools and are even geo-referenced. Don’t know where to begin? Then click one of the Editor’s Picks or to the Photographer Map to get you to any interesting spot anywhere around the world. You’ll be surprised by the amazing shots that are compelling enough to start you saving for an actual trip.
Gigapan. This site offers gigapixel images uploaded from around the world. The charm here is the community of photography enthusiast who share their images with each other to create those wonderful panoramic shots. This site was developed in partnership with NASA AMES Intelligence Robotics Group and Google. How much more scientific can you get? The Gigapan works well with Google Earth and offers a most popular list for viewers to pick on where they want to “go” today.
Arounder. Now this one offers not only views from outside but also of the insides of the most popular places to visit including parks, museums, local cafes and shops. Now isn’t that neat, providing you with a wholistic approach to your virtual tour? This site is an online travel magazine so though their offerings may not be as extensive as the others, they are nevertheless organized according to region for your convenience. What’s most impressive is Arounder’s virtual tour of, wait for it, the Moon and Mars. Space travel is now possible anyway if you got the money. Want an app to carry with you? Then Arounder has also one for you.
Panedia. Missed out on Oprah’s Great Trip To The Land Down Under? Then here’s a consolation which is more of a professional service type. The site features geo-referenced photographs of the most popular outback spots that Australia is known for.
So go ahead and click those mouse to the mentioned websites and pretend for a few minutes that you are visiting that awesome city of your dreams. Consider it a prelude to that one day when you may just find yourself standing on top of that viewing deck and seeing the real deal.
Katie is a travel and frugal writer who blogs for Sell My Timeshare, the regularly blog on traveling. Check out our recent post listing Hottest New Travel Sites.