Mexico City, Jan 30 (Agencies): Google earth will provide a platform enabling virtual visits to around 180 Mexican archaeological sites and 116 museums from any part of the world, Mexican authorities and executives of Google Latin America said.

During the platform's presentation at Chapultepec Castle in the Mexican capital, the  National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH's director Alfonso de Maria y Campos, and Google Latin America' marketing manager, Miguel Angel Alva, said on Thursday that this is 'a unique effort in the Latin American region and its first such project at an international level.

'At the event, which included the awarding of prizes for entries in the 'Put Mexico on the Map' contest, De Maria y Campos said that the sites form part of Google's interactive digital atlas, and will help boost the promotion of Mexico's culture and tourism around the world.

The INAH director said that 'cultural tourism brings in twice the cash that sun, sea and sand tourism does, which tells us that this tourist segment travels more, has a better image of the country and above all leaves more money in non-traditional places.

'For his part, Alva said that the project was initiated by an alliance between INAH and Google Mexico which aimed at creating international awareness of the country's cultural riches.

He also said that 31 Mexican sites are included that have been declared Unesco World Heritage sites. The marketing manager of Google Latin America said that this tool 'makes information about Mexico's heritage available to all humanity - it takes the information provided by INAH, organizes it and makes it accessible for viewing anywhere in the world on Google Earth.

'He said that through satellite images, maps and buildings seen in 3D, people can find information about archaeological sites, museums and buildings that have been declared World Heritage sites by Unesco. The Google Earth platform boasts more than 200 million users.