Google has sent out press invites to ‘the unveiling of the new Google Earth‘ on April 18. The company gives no clue what to expect, but promises a ‘brand new experience.’

As Engadget observes, the smart money has to be on new virtual reality features …

The Earth team did launch a virtual reality version of the planet-visualizing app onto Steam late last year. The app was only available for HTC Vive headsets at the time, but the team promised to add support for additional platforms in the near future. So we’d be surprised if next week’s event didn’t come with an update for Google Daydream, which would make it much more affordable as a VR educational tool. Google has also been developing its stand-alone virtual tours and augmented reality museum experiences for years now and could be incorporating more of those “on-the-ground” kinds of VR experiences directly into its incredibly detailedwhole-Earth model.

Google Earth VR was launched in November, but only for the HTC Vive. The company yesterday published a set of new WebVR experiments for use with both Daydream headsets and Cardboard.

We’ll of course bring you all the details next week.

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