The tech company teamed up with the non-profit CyArk to conserve historically significant sites around the world in a digital record, which viewers can examine anywhere

Virtual reality has already been applied to projects that make arts and culture more accessible. Now Google is using it to preserve endangered historical sites and wonders of the world. The Taliban and ISIS have been in the news recently for destroying significant cultural relics and sites in several countries. Even when they are not being destroyed by conflict, many historical sites are threatened by weather and natural disasters, not to mention the ravages of time. In an effort to ensure these sites would not be lost forever—especially for travelers who might not have a chance to visit—the Open Heritage Project was created with the nonprofit CyArk to recreate historically significant sites in a VR setting, ensuring they will always be available for study and enjoyment.

Google lent its backing to the project, making its already impressive archive available through the Google Arts & Culture app. Arts & Culture users can explore 25 different locations across 18 countries, with more continuing to be added. Viewers can learn more about the digital conservation projects and examine 3D models and 360 photos on Google’s Open Heritage page.

Open Heritage


Lead Image: CyArk via Google

Virtual reality has already been applied to projects that make arts and culture more accessible. Now Google is using it to preserve endangered historical sites and wonders of the world. The Taliban and ISIS have been in the news recently for destroying significant cultural relics and sites in several countries. Even when they are not being destroyed by conflict, many historical sites are threatened by weather and natural disasters, not to mention the ravages of time. In an effort to ensure these sites would not be lost forever—especially for travelers who might not have a chance to visit—the Open Heritage Project was created with the nonprofit CyArk to recreate historically significant sites in a VR setting, ensuring they will always be available for study and enjoyment.