Google Wants You to Share Great Storytelling Using Google Earth
Google's new Tour Builder storytelling project was created for Veterans Day but is now being expanded to all potential users.Google is making it easy for anyone to tell great stories by adding video, photos and text to Google Maps so that it can all be shared with others. The new project, called Tour Builder, was inspired by earlier efforts by Google to help U.S. military veterans share their incredible stories using Google Earth in combination with video, images and text, wrote Sean Askay, of the Google Earth Outreach team, and Carrie Laureno, of the Google Creative Lab and Google Veterans Network, in a Nov. 11 post on the Google Lat Long Blog. "As we've worked with veterans and their family members on projects like Map The Fallen and VetNet, we've heard many amazing stories and seen how helpful storytelling can be," wrote Askay and Laureno. "So we thought it might be useful to make a very simple storytelling tool. One hallway conversation led to a joint project between the Google Creative Lab and Google Earth Outreach, and today, in honor of Veterans Day, we're excited to share Tour Builder—a simple tool for recording and sharing stories on a map." Tour Builder lets users pick locations on a map; add in photos, text and video; and then share their creation, according to Google. It was originally created to give veterans a way to record all the places that military service has taken them, and preserve their stories and memories as a legacy for their families, according to a Google FAQ. Soon after, the company decided to release it to all users so they can share their own life experiences with others. So far, Tour Builder is in beta, and Google is launching it to get feedback and build a user base.
Users must access Tour Builder using the Google Earth plug-in, which is only available for Windows and Mac OS X 10.6+. Tours that are created can't be viewed on mobile browsers, but they can be accessed on mobile devices using the Google Earth App, which is available for Android, iPhone/iPad and Linux.