Globe Trotting: The World at Our Fingertips

Try your hand at armchair discovery! The Geospatial Centre team has pulled together some interesting finds for you to unravel using the wonderful mapping and research tool, Google Maps.


Fire, drought and retreating waters help uncover archaeological sites.  Most recently, extremely dry weather had led to buried archaeological sites to appear as crop marks in fields. Grass and crops growing out of archaeological features tend to be healthier due to better water retention. Plug these coordinates into Google Maps and use the satellite view.

  • 53°41'41.29"N   6°28'32.37"W – Newgrange is a 5,200 year old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley, Ireland.
  • 42.4036985 N 13.3095928 E - Amiternum, Italy - theater and an amphitheater, both built in the Augustan age.
  • 37°13'23.51"N 38°55'20.72"E - Gobekli Tepe, in Turkey, may be the world’s first temple.

Animal Tracking

High resolution aerial imagery (satellite, aerial or drone) are crucial resources for scientists looking to visualize animal migrations. Some of the super-high resolution images are shared publicly via Google Maps (satellite view). Just plug these coordinates and zoom in:

  • 15°17'40.32" N 20°28'47.42" E - Camels in Biltine, Chad
  • 4°17'21.49" S 31°23'46.46" E – Buffaloes in Tanzania
  • 10°54'13.66" N 19°56'06.15" E – Elephants in Djérat, Chad
  • 18°26'45.45" S 12°00'44.20" E – Seals in Namid Desert

Want to get a closer look? Many animals have been caught in their natural habitat on Google StreetView.  When you think of StreetView you may assume that because of its name, images are only taken from the street, using an equipped Google car. However, in order to access and capture scenery off the beaten path, Google also uses snowmobiles, bikes, pedicabs, and trekkers (camera’s on backpacks).

Remember the number of times you thought “I wish I caught that on camera”? Check out these animals that were caught in the action!

Virtual Travel

Transport yourself to another place and virtually visit locations you’ve only read about, or perhaps never even knew existed. In Google Maps, simply drag the Peg icon over any location that has blue lines or circles. Here are a few far-and-away places to get you started.

Arts & Culture

In the mood for seeing works of art? Explore art galleries and museums virtually, like the Guggeneheim Museum in New York, Musee d’Orsay in Paris, and/or the National Museum of Modern and contemporary Art in Seul.