This is too cool... ARSights (the AR stands for Augmented Reality) has developed an app that allows you virtually to hold selected Google Earth 3D models in your hand. Here's the company's description:
ARSights is a new web-based tool which improves Google Earth visualization capabilities by enabling users to visualize digital content mixed with real world information. Built upon the technology known as Augmented Reality, it allows users to enjoy Google Earth digital content in an astonishing as well as completely new way. All you need to make ARSights work is a PC, a USB camera, a printed marker and AR Application which can be downloaded directly on www.arsights.com. The aims of the project can be summarized as follows:Here's what it looks like in practice:
- To increase people’s awareness about the power of Augmented Reality
- To let people access information in an immersive and more engaging manner
- To impulse a new development of this technology
- To foster new business opportunities in many fields of application
If you click on that graphic, you will see a short (and choppy) 40 sec video with me holding virtual models of the Parthenon and the Coliseum. You can see how the object can be rotated and tilted. (If I tilt it too askew, you will see that I lose the model momentarily.) For a better looking demonstration with the Eifel Tower, note this YouTube video from ARSights.
You need a web cam, and other than that, it involves downloading the app, printing the 'foundation' card, and downloading the KML file for GoogleEarth so you can see the models available. There are over 70 models from all over the world available at this time. Nothing from Jerusalem yet, and the Parthenon and Coliseum I model are the most relevant biblical studies related ones for now.
[HT: Google Earth Blog]