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Now, ancient Rome on Google Earth ?


Obviously, there were no satellites for google earth to snap pictures of Rome two millennia ago. But that hasn’t stopped Google from giving Web surfers a bird’s eye view of ancient Rome.

Rome’s Colosseum shown in an animated map provided by Google Earth.

Google Earth has added to it, a 3-D simulation that reconstructs nearly 6500 buildings of ancient Rome, including the Colosseum, the Forum and the Circus Maximus, of about 1 million people under Emperor Constantine. People using Google Earth can now seemingly fly past more than 6500 buildings that stood in the city at the peak of the Roman Empire in 320 AD.

The recreation was done using advanced technology like laser scans of today’s extant ruined monuments and advice from archaeologists. Experts worked for about 10 years to reconstruct ancient Rome with its 13-mile-long walls, quoted Bernard Frischer, who heads the Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities.

The simulation, which was completed in 2007, was intended as a scholarly tool to study the ancient buildings and also to run experiments on them, for example, like to determine their crowd capacity.

To commemorate the launch, Google is inviting US educators to take part in a contest promising prizes for innovative lesson plans based on the virtual Ancient Rome feature.

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