The latest exciting news to the world of archaeology and education comes in the recent quest by Google Maps to use their program to allow people from all over the world access, at least visually, to some of the greatest wonders in South America. Just like the normal “street view” offered by Google Maps, people will be able to go to ground level and take a 3-D interactive look at old ruins throughout various South American countries.
Reasons that Google has decided to undertake such an ambitious projects are many, though the main motivation is none other than money. Google, along with the countries being included in the project, are hoping that access to the ancient sites will draw tourists in to visit them in person.
The nobler side-effect of the project is that anyone in the world who happens to have access to the Internet can peruse the sites at any time. This promotes knowledge and learning by using a commercial venture as a base. As those who have read some of my previous posts know, this seems to be a trend increasing in popularity, giving much-needed funding to many wonderful explorations into the past all over the world.
Mapping began two years ago and so far 30 of the sites have been put into the system for people to view. Their plans are to have another 50 up by the end of the year and eventually finish up a total of 189 target sites. Some of the more famous ones that can be explored now are places like Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, Palenque and Uxmal.
Once more, marketing gimmicks turn into money for archaeological projects. By encouraging these sorts of undertakings progress into understanding our world’s history may speed up a little more. The only worry, of course, is the potential for those investing their money to use legal means to assume some sort of control over the sites - a pessimistic prediction that will hopefully never come to pass.