Amazing news for the armchair travellers amongst us – a virtual reality version of Google Earth is now available for free on the HTC Vive, letting users explore reconstructed cultural treasures, global landmarks and even your own home, if that’s what you’re into. Google Earth VR has been in development for some time, and it bears conceptual similarity to the version of Street View that Google released on its Carboard and Daydream platforms. But where Street View offers strings of photospheres collected by 360-degree cameras, users of Earth VR can virtually fly freely around a topographical reconstruction of the globe, or take guided tours of places like Manhattan and Madrid. The most interesting thing about Earth VR for brands and individuals are the opportunities that could arise with an open version of the app. You could embed your own stories into Google Earth, or link personal photo spheres to specific places. Brands could offer a VR version of their neighbourhood the way they might embed a Google Maps widget on their website. Whatever the case, it’s undoubtedly one of the most open-ended VR apps available right now. Read more on The Verge.