Google on Wednesday resurrected ancient Rome online, opening a three-dimensional virtual version of the city for cyber-explorers interested in trips back through time.
People using free Google Earth software can seemingly fly past more than 6,500 buildings that stood in the city at the peak of the Roman Empire in 320 AD.
Online visitors can swoop in for close-ups of structures and peruse pop-up information “bubbles” written by historians.
Some buildings feature full interiors. Internet surfers can visit the Roman Forum; linger in the center of the Colosseum; pass through the Arch of Constantine and follow in the footsteps of gladiators in the Ludus Magnus.
Rome is the first ancient city recreated at Google Earth, an interactive online Atlas that provides tools and technology that enable people to explore the world.
To commemorate the launch, Google is inviting US educators to take part in a contest promising prizes for innovative lesson plans based on the virtual Ancient Rome feature.