zaterdag, juni 07, 2008

Virtual Walt Disney World Added To Google Earth

A virtual tour of Walt Disney World on Google Earth may help plan a vacation, or it might substitute for the real thing. All the theme parks and 20 Disney Resort hotels have been placed in Google Earth. Even small details of Mickey Mouse's amusement park have been included in the online Google Earth tour. Users can zoom down Main Street, USA, fly around Cinderella Castle, explore Spaceship Earth and climb the Tree of Life.

Aside from the joy of visiting Disney World without waiting in line, the online tour is designed to help users plan a vacation. The virtual Disney World also contains small details that heighten the sense of being there, including park benches, merry-go-round horses, minimum rider height for certain rides, and souvenir shops. To virtually go to Disney, a user downloads Google Earth and selects the Gold Mickey Ears icon.

About 100,000 photos by eight photographers were used to create 1,500 3-D models of buildings, and there are also links to blogs and YouTube videos.

Some observers are suggesting that, in creating such a detailed online planning tool, Disney may be opening the door to virtual trips that take the place of the real thing. For instance, Andrew Smith of the Dallas Morning News wrote semi-seriously that, with the price of both air fare and gas rising so fast, "I think parents with gullible children should consider 'taking their kids to Disney World' by sitting them down in front of a monitor."

Andrew Frank, a research director with Gartner, noted, even with advances made in gaming, we're still "quite a ways from substituting a virtual vacation for a physical one."
(source of info & image: CIO Today)

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