Google has added a new twist to its popular 3D map tool, Google Earth, offering millions of users the chance to visit a virtual ancient Rome, reports BBC News. Google has reconstructed the sprawling city, inhabited by more than one million people as long ago as AD320. Users can zoom around the map to visit the Forum of Julius Caesar, stand in the center of the Colosseum, or swoop over the Basilica. Researchers behind the project say it adds to five centuries of knowledge. "This is another step in creating a virtual time machine," said Bernard Frischer of the University of Virginia, which worked with Google on the Roman reconstruction. "The project is a continuation of five centuries of research by scholars, architects and artists since the Renaissance, who have attempted to restore the ruins of the ancient city with words, maps and images." Ancient Rome is the first historical city to be added to Google Earth. Google’s blog said the model contains more than 6,700 buildings, with more than 250 place marks linking to key sites in a variety of languages. "Whether you are a student taking your first ancient history class, a historian who spends your life researching ancient civilizations, or just a history buff, access to this 3D model in Google Earth will help everyone learn more about ancient Rome," said Bruce Polderman, Google Earth’s 3D production manager…

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