Now this is good. It took awhile to be made available but it is there now so I'm going to blog about it. Google Earth added an ancient Rome layer under the Gallery category. In it is a model of Rome circa 300 AD, which is really amazing. I learned about this Rome layer on the Google video.
Thankfully it is in easy-to-use Google Earth and not in something like Second Life. There are plenty of educational opportunities with this layer and I am sure there will be more clever layers to follow. The matchup of Google Earth with SketchUp is a great combination for educational purposes. This application of using historical data with real terrain is perfect for Google Earth and the kind of thing that people try to re-create in Second Life where it just seems forced. But I've never been a Second Life fan and now I wonder when Google will come up with Roman warrior avatars driving chariots around Circus Maximus. Now THAT would be educational!
I heard about this new Rome layer early this morning and thought that, to view the new layer, I must download Google Earth again. I don't think that is the case. My Update Google Earth function said that I had the latest version, but I did not see the Ancient Rome layer. It just took longer than I expected to see it in my Layers list (circles in green below).
Thanks, psychemedia and Google LatLong blog and Ogle Earth blog, where you'll get a lot of background information on how this project came into existence.