Editor’s Note: In this technical post we explain how Seurat, a developer tool from Google, is able to bring high-end graphics to mobile VR systems.

If students could see almost any place in the world with the high quality graphics of Google Earth VR, it would create new opportunities for exploration and learning. For this to work, it would need to be based on a system that’s accessible and easy to use for schools. Using a new tool called Seurat, we were able to do just that. We recently launched support for Google Earth scenes in Expeditions, which lets millions of students around the world experience some of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Mobile VR is easy to use, but it has less available computing power than PC-based systems. To make Google Earth VR hit the required framerates on mobile VR, we need to use techniques like occlusion culling. Google Earth has one of the largest 3D datasets available today, and we’re constantly updating it with new scans and applying reconstruction algorithms in our data centers. However, the pace of updates makes it challenging to apply recent research advances.

Fortunately, Seurat can help deal with scenes that are heavily occluded. We announced this tool at Google IO, and it’s a solution for high quality graphics on mobile VR:

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