Wooorld: VR Maps & Exploration

5-star rating
Education, Travel
Comfortable, Roomscale, Stationary

The Meta Quest may not be powerful enough to run Google Earth in virtual reality, but Wooorld provides the next best thing, plus it adds more features and games that you won't find anywhere else.

Wooorld's window into online maps, images, topography and 3D models is presented coffee-table size in front of you. Grab the corners of the table to enlarge, or use your controllers to resize or move the map around. Place a pin on a location and a 360 degree street-view image will surround you on all sides. Hide the coffee-table map and you can navigate around your ground-level surroundings. You can also walk around the coffee-table map in roomscale and snap-turn at any time, though unfortunately there isn't an option for rotating the map itself.

New features include an artificial intelligence powered tour generator. Type in your desired location and maybe a subject of interest, then app will curate a selection of locations, fly you between them on the map and provide an audio commentary as you view the street-level images that are projected around you.

Taking an AI tour of NC waterfalls | No 3D models of Six Flags NJ

Where In The Wooorld is an addictive game that places you at a random location in Google Street View and your task is to explore the neighborhood looking for tell-tale signs of your position in the world. Use the coffee-table map to orientate yourself and make your guess. The game can be played solo, with friends or with strangers - either in cooperative mode or in competition against each other. Your fellow gamers will be visible to you as animated Meta Avatars so you can talk face-to-face as you solve each location. Choose from Europe, USA or World game modes.

Wooorld is a great alternative to Google Earth and we understand the concessions needed due to the limitations of the current Meta Quest platform. Yet it's still frustrating to manage within the visual constraints of Wooorld's map view, having gotten used to how in Google Earth VR landscapes are rendered all the way to the horizon. Visiting places we recognize but without seeing the backdrop of hills, mountains and sky removes a lot of geographical context.

A familiar painting in the Art Institute of Chicago

We were disappointed to find that many locations we visited didn't include 3D models, even though they're available to Google Earth viewers. Apparently Wooorld includes 3D models of buildings and structures for 450 cities worldwide, with more to be added in the future. The app continues to receive development updates and the Wooorld team tell us that they're "working on integrating the full Google Earth 3D city catalog that was recently made available as an experimental API". This will be a big improvement to the program, though apparently the timescale depends on Google.

Wooorld's additional features and options necessitate a more complex user interface, and we admit we had some initial difficulties with the controls before things started to fall into place. Once we got the hang of things though Wooorld became our preferred Meta Quest travel & mapping app. Note that more casual users might prefer Wander with its simpler controls, but that excludes the 3D models, AI tour guides and the fun Where In The Wooorld game.

Interacting with real people (Meta Quest Pro color passthru)

✅ Best Quest option for Google Earth lovers
✅ Great AI Tour & social game features
✅ Massive amount of places to explore.
❌ User interface has a learning curve
❌ Not all Google Earth 3D models are available yet

• YouTube: Trailer
• Languages: English
• Facebook: Comment on this article

Bluesky Icon   Facebook Icon   Mastadon Icon   The old Reddit icon is better than the new one   RSS Feed Icon   Threads Icon
Presented free of advertising and without warranty as to accuracy of content. Copyright © 2023-2024 Stuart Green all rights reserved. Some copyrighted images used under fair use doctrine for review purposes. About the Library.