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US state to use Google Earth to promote tourism

Pennsylvania, USA, 13 December 2006 – Pennsylvania is to use Google Earth to promote state tourism, by enabling virtual Civil War trails. The state will provide a $285,000 grant to support a partnership between Google Earth, Carnegie Mellon University, NASA, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office and the National Civil War Museum.

The partners will develop an infrastructure to display and promote Pennsylvania’s Civil War trails as a travel destination and enhance community engagement in emerging interactive technologies.

Building on the Google Earth platform, the Pennsylvania tourism office will incorporate a new technology developed through the global connections project, a partnership that includes CMU, Google and NASA’s Ames research center.

Known as Gigapan – short for gigapixel panoramas – the technology combines thousands of digital images to create a panoramic image in excess of one billion pixels. When combined with time-lapse, users can explore the space through time as well.

“This project will further promote Pennsylvania as a tourist destination, increase visitation and expenditures, and could potentially be applied in support of other applications throughout Pennsylvania,” said Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell.

Users can see a panoramic view along a trail, zoom in to read the inscription on a Civil War monument, or go back in time to witness the change of seasons on a historic battlefield.