Regular Google users will be able to upload their own stories, photos and videos onto the Google Earth platform in the coming years, it was revealed at a launch event in Brazil on Tuesday.
The “Voyager” tool, which is already active, allows Internet surfers to take interactive tours of exotic destinations on Google Earth with photos, information and maps.
However, Google Earth Director Rebecca Moore told Reuters that regular users will be able to create their own unedited content for private or public use within two to three years.
“The story of your family history, the story of your favorite hiking trip – it could be anything. It doesn’t have to be profound,” she said at the event in Sao Paulo.
Moore took to the stage at the event to unveil the “I am the Amazon” project, which has mapped 11 sites to document the relationship between the rainforest and its people, touching on topics like food, water and cultural origins.
Google and partners have used 3D cameras to accompany satellite images with videos and text in order to tell stories of communities, such as the Yanomami people, Cinta Large and the Boa Vista Quilombola. “Google Earth is our gift to the world,” she said.
Moore did not reveal the budget for the project but did say it is not Google’s intention to turn a profit from the venture, and therefore ruled out the possibility of any advertising opportunities on the platform.
“In terms of budget, Google has nice revenue from advertising, and not everything Google does has to make money,” she said.