Next Big Thing – virtual holidays

Brings a new meaning to the term staycation

Sounds a bit Total Recall to me

This is much more relaxing. Google is sending Street View cameras, mounted on trikes and boats, through the Amazon rainforest so that you can float down the Amazon basin without worrying about piranhas. Or flights. Or jabs.

I did get bored of checking out my own house

We'll bet you did. How about 360 degree panoramic shots of over 50km of the Amazon and Rio Negro rivers instead? Plus some shots of Amazonian communities like the Tumbria and the Terra Preta thrown in for good measure. Little more exotic isn't it?

Any Amazonians blocking their cul-de-sacs?

No news yet but Google Earth Outreach do-gooders are teaching the locals how to use the Street View cameras to document their schools and community centers. Google also wants its virtual tourists to get a good look at all the monkeys and creepy crawlies.

Can't I just soak up some rays?

Just stick a bright light next to your desk as you glide down the Amazon. And Google Tours Inc can take you pretty much anwhere, from beaches in Hawaii to Japanese shrines. Trust us, your wallet will thank you.

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