Explore Ancient Rome in Google Earth

Google Earth has rolled out a neat new feature that lets you explore Ancient Rome in 3D. The aptly named Ancient Rome 3D, announced this morning, lets you zoom around the city as it stood in 320 AD. You can get inside numerous ancient structures such as the Colosseum to see up-close detail of their interiors, and pop-up bubbles give you historical insight into what you’re viewing.

In all, Ancient Rome 3D has 6,700 detailed buildings. “Users can visit the Roman Forum, stand in the centre of the Colosseum, trace the footsteps of the gladiators in the Ludus Magnus, stand on the Rostra, swoop over the Basilica Julia, fly under The Arch of Constantine or even examine the detail on the facade of the Basilica of Maxentius,” Google explains.

The feature has obvious educational implications, and Google is launching a contest for teachers to find ways to incorporate the technology into their lessons.

Google Earth Ancient Rome 3D can be viewed within the “Layers” panel of the Google Earth program. Select “Gallery,” then “Ancient Rome 3D” to take the tour.

Or check out this video for a closer look: