Mountain View, California – Last week Google launched a 360 degree view of the legendary temple Angkor Wat built in the 12th century by Khmer King Suryavarman II. Originally built as a Hindu place of worship, it transitioned into a Buddhist landmark and was made in honor of the Supreme Hindu god Vishnu, which represents one of the three main branches of Hinduism. It was the largest building of its kind at the time and remains standing to this day. Angkor Wat is this Southeast Asian nation’s largest tourist draw and is proudly displayed on their national flag.
Angkor Wat literally means temple city or city of temples for its buildings arranged in a quincunx pattern where there are four buildings at opposite points with a central building giving it a cross-like pattern. Google captured the historical edifices as part of the ongoing expansion of the Streetview endeavor. They collaborated with the Apsara Authority of the Kingdom of Cambodia, which is devoted to preserving Angkor Wat. In all, Google captured digital images of over 100 temples in the vast Angkor Wat which images totaled in number exceeded hundreds of thousands. In all, 90,000 images were selectively stitched together to form the digital view of the architectural marvel.
Those looking to conduct a cyber-visit of the Siem Reap, the location of Angkor Wat, will also be treated to 300 pieces of art spread across the ruins in this 400 square km area. Originally, the Streetview project was created to map city streets and highways, but Google has expanded the project to include national parks and monuments. The effort to map Angkor Wat began in July of last year and lasted roughly 8 months. Similar efforts were done to map the breathtaking trails and mountains in Canada’s Banff national park.