Google announced today the launch of an extraordinary project for Pakistan to highlight and promote the country’s cultural heritage. Over a dozen historical landmarks have been included to display striking panoramic imagery – similar to it’s trademark StreetView.
Official partners in the project are a number of non-profit organizations which have been striving to preserve this unique cultural legacy. These include the Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP), Mohatta Palace Museum, Heritage Foundation Pakistan, and more.
The history of the geographical area that constitutes modern-day Pakistan can be traced as far back as the Indus Valley Civilization, which sprouted over 5,000 years ago. Since then, the region has witnessed Aryan, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, and Christian influences. Trading cities such as Moenjodaro and Harappa developed links with merchants from Central Asia, Middle East, and other parts of South Asia, resulting in a fusion of art, language, and traditions.
Pakistan’s incredibly rich and diverse cultural lineage is undisputed. Currently there are a total of six locations inscribed on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). These include:
- Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro
- Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi
- Shalimar Gardens and Fort
- Rohtas Fort
- Makli Tombs
This isn’t Google’s first attempt to promote Pakistani culture. Back in 2012, they had signed an agreement with the Punjab government to capture historical locations and cultural sites in the province. However, it seems this project takes a much more encompassing stance, as it includes locations all over the country. Their site lists 467 different items available to view, with ancient relics, paintings, and old coins all part of the package.