Think Google Earth plus a travel guide. Suzhou Great Landscape Technology recently launched a 3D service which has created a replica of the Jinji Lake in Suzhou, China.

It allows users to explore the lake area virtually on both PC and smartphone (available on Android and iOS) through a 360 degree “Street View”-style tour while listening to an audio guide at their own pace. By July 8 the app had seen more than 20,000 PC downloads and more than 3000 smartphone downloads.

The idea behind virtual tourism is that visitors could ‘roam’ the destination at home before the actual visit, giving them the comfort of knowing what to expect beyond arrival. Users can use the app to interact with others, post blog entries, share photos, videos and 3D works. 3D Jinji Lake will also partner with third-party online travel booking engines and online shopping websites.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.