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(Pocket-lint) - Google Earth already does a great job of showing us places around the world we never even knew existed. It can show 3D images and close ups of places, but it's never quite the same as being there. Now the company has launched Google Earth VR, which will initially launch on the HTC Vive, to instantly transport you to the world's most famous landmarks or wherever else you want to go within the world's 196.9 million square miles.

The VR experience aims to immerse you in different places around the globe much better than if you were just viewing a computer screen. With the VR experience you should be able to get a real sense of just how big, or small, landmarks are.

Google has also compiled some cinematic tours to show off the best the world has to offer and hand-picked destinations to quickly whisk you off to, including the Amazon River, Manhattan skyline, the Grand Canyon, Swiss Alps and more.

Google Earth VR is available to download from the Steam Store now for free and is only available for the HTC Vive. Google has said news regarding Earth VR launching on other platforms will be announced next year.

Writing by Max Langridge.