Google maps: New Street View imagery of historic sites in Italy and France

We’ve been busy pedaling the Street View trike around the nooks and crannies of storied sites in Europe, including palaces, monuments and castles, so you can explore them in Google Maps with Street View.

Starting today, you can view some of the most historic and architecturally significant landmarks in Italy and France, including UNESCO sites in Rome, the center of Florence and stunning chateaux in the French countryside.

In addition to seeing the exterior of archaeological sites like the Imperial Forum and the Colosseum in Rome, you can now explore inside the Colosseum and imagine yourself viewing naumachiae—simulated sea battles for which the Colosseum was filled with water—or speaking with statesmen inside the Imperial Forum.

Inside the Colosseum, Rome

In few clicks you can navigate through centuries of history. Start at the birthplace of Rome, the Palatine Hill, where the mythical founders of the city, Romulus and Remus were found and saved by a she-wolf, and where the most ancient buildings of the city are located. Follow the Appian Way, a little path that became one of the most strategically important roads of ancient Rome. After the long walk, experience the splendor of Imperial Rome at the Thermae (Baths) of Diocletian—ancient wellness and cultural centers with 33 acres of pools, gymnasiums and public libraries.

Baths of Diocletian

After wandering around Rome, you can fast forward in time to witness the celebrated architectural wonders of the Italian Renaissance, including Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower) and Brunelleschi’s Cupola (dome) in Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. While in Florence don’t miss the opportunity to walk through Ponte Vecchio and shop at the famous artisan jewel stores built on top of it!

Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence

In France, you can view picturesque chateaux and indulge your fantasies of living like French royalty by taking a virtual stroll around the beautiful Fontainebleau.

Château de Fontainebleau

Start exploring these sites in our Street View gallery, or find your favorite historic spots directly in Google Maps.

Chrome Web Store International Support: Developer Preview

When we recently announced the availability of the Chrome Web Store to Chrome users in the US, we mentioned that we were hard at work making the store available globally. Today we’re excited to announce a preview release of the upload flow for several international markets as a step towards that goal.
Starting today, when you upload an app via the developer dashboard, you’ll have the option of selecting from the following sixteen countries to list your app: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. If you are using Chrome Web Store Payments to charge for your app, you will also be able to set the app price for each country although if you’re not based in the United States you will not be able to complete your merchant account sign up just yet (this will be enabled soon).
Note that these apps will not yet be published to countries outside the United States. This will happen when the Chrome Web Store opens to consumers in these countries later this year. We are releasing this developer preview ahead of the consumer release so you have enough time to prepare your apps for international users.
We hope you can use this release to get familiar with the app upload process and take time to localize your app listing to make it accessible to more people. If you have additional questions, please take a look at our FAQ or join our developer discussion group.

Holiday Trees throughout Google Earth

Now that Google has introduced 3D trees to Google Earth 6, they’ve decided to take it a step further and drop decorated trees in various places around the globe.

tree-at-30-rock.jpg

According to their blog, these special trees can be found in 14 different locations. However, they’ve only revealed 11 of them. Here are the 11 that they’ve shown:

• Boston Common, Boston, MA
• Skyline Park, Denver, CO
• Grove Plaza, Boise, ID
• Alster Fountain, Hamburg, Germany
• North Capital of Texas Highway, Austin, TX
• Place Du Parvis Notre-Dame, Paris, France
• Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic
• Red Square, Moscow, Russia
• Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY
• Pier 39, San Francisco, CA
• Trafalgar Square, London, England

I tracked down those 11 trees and loaded them into this KMZ file for you. Now, who can find the other three?

Below is the video that shows off the first 11. Leave a comment if you’re able to find any of the others.