From the “ave atque vale” files:
For nearly 1,000 years ancient Rome was the capital of the Western World and as the saying goes, “all roads lead to Rome.” Today some 1,600 years after the sack of Rome by Alaric, ancient Rome is being reborn with the help of Google. Google Earth now has a Rome 3D layer that lets you see the Eternal City as it would have been in the year 320 AD.
In my opinion this is an astonishing piece of work. Google has done other great mapping kind of efforts with the stars, moon and mars but ancient history is a new thing and Rome is the right place to start. Aside from seeing the ancient streets in the movie Gladiator (Maximus! Maximus!! Maximus!!) this is your best bet. I can see it being useful for students of history (casual or professional) as well as yet another example of how Google really is everywhere in both space and time.
The current mayor of Rome is also enthusiastic about the effort. In a post on the main Google blog wrote:
What fascinates me most about this project is the accuracy of the
details of the three-dimensional models. It’s such a great experience
to be able to admire the monuments, streets and buildings of Ancient
Rome with a virtual camera that lets you go inside and see all the
architectural details. From the Colosseum to the Ludus Magnus, from the
Forum Caesar to the Arch of Septimius Severus, from the Rostra to the
Basilica Julia, you can get up close to them all.