Google Maps has once again brought a world wonder to your home with a Street View perspective of Australia’s revered and admired Uluru.
Previously known as Ayer’s Rock, the immense natural formation is know the world over for its vibrant warm colours and its stark contrast with the barren landscape around it.
In addition to this, says Google, it’s a deeply sacred religious site for the Anangu people who have lived there for around 30 millennia.
It’s also a hub of biodiversity, with 21 species of mammals, 73 species of reptiles and 178 different birds calling the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park home.
Thanks to Google, anyone with access to the Maps app can now visit the site from the comfort of their own home – or hand.
“Standing 348 m (1,142 ft) high, and with a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi), the immense scale, colors and contours of Uluṟu stir a sense of reverence,” the company says. “For Anangu, the land carries sacred ‘songlines’—creation stories about the journeys, battles and adventures of their ancestral beings.”
Not wanting to overlook the cultural significance of the landmark, Google has reviewed the feature with local Anangu people to ensure that the sanctity and importance of certain areas of Uluru is not compromised.
“For Aṉangu, there is no distinction between the physical and metaphysical, or the animate and inanimate,” Google says. “This means that Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park could never be truly represented or understood (virtually or otherwise) without the presence and voices of its people.”
To this end, Google has used its ‘Story Spheres’ feature to include audio stories and songs in the virtual experience. Not only is this immersive, but it’s ground-breaking, too – these oral histories are, as Google says, largely unrecorded.
You can visit Uluru by clicking this link: