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News: Paul Wouters 1711

Google Earth revives ancient Rome

12 Nov 2008

Google has added a new twist to its popular 3D map tool, Google Earth, offering millions of users the chance to visit a virtual ancient Rome.

Google has reconstructed the sprawling city - inhabited by more than one million people as long ago as AD320. Users can zoom around the map to visit the Forum of Julius Caesar, stand in the centre of the Colosseum or swoop over the Basilica. Researchers behind the project say it adds to five centuries of knowledge. Also involved was Past Perfect Productions, which reconstructs archaeological and historical sites through virtual reality.

Ancient Rome is the first historical city to be added to Google Earth. The model contains more than 6,700 buildings, with more than 250 place marks linking to key sites in a variety of languages. Within ancient Rome there are some 200 buildings scholars know a lot about - classified as Class 1 -which Google says have been rendered as faithfully as possible. The 3D models are based on a physical model of the city called the Plastico di Roma Antica. The model was created by archaeologists and model-makers between 1933 to 1974 and housed in a special gallery in Rome's Museum of Roman Civilisation.

Source: BBC News

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