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Friday, June 6, 2008 - Page updated at 12:54 PM

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Disney World launches Google Earth 3D map to help plan theme-park visit

BURBANK, Calif. — Tourists overwhelmed by the mind-boggling size of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., will now be able to plan their tour with the help of a 3D Google Earth map created by The Walt Disney Co.

The map of the four theme parks and 22 hotels at Disney World shows souvenir shacks, merry-go-round horses and even benches for resting.

Google Earth, an interactive 3D mapping program, allows to create travelogues by embedding photos, videos and commentary about locations they highlight.

Disney called its entry the largest corporate initiative on Google Earth. About 100,000 shots from eight photographers went into 1,500 three-dimensional images of a variety of structures at Disney World, the company said Thursday.

Disney's Google Earth entry also contains links to blogs and YouTube videos and information on everything from the minimum rider height for certain attractions to menus at different restaurants.

Nearly nine in 10 park guests plan their vacations online, Disney said. The map, at www.disneyworld.com/3dparks, will let them see what's where.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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