If there are iconic and innovative Google services, Street View is one of them. It manages to bring a unique immersiveness to users, who can visualize real-world locations on their computer, without having to move.
This unique feature is to be congratulated, as it is now 15 years old. To celebrate this unique moment, Google decided to give Street View some new features, all of them focused on giving users even more.
15 years celebrated with many news
The idea to create Street View came from within Google itself, from one of its founders. It was Larry Page himself who envisioned the possibility of building a 360-degree map of the entire world. 15 years later, there are over 220 billion Street View images from over 100 countries and territories.
This allows anyone to experience what it's like to be in these places, using their phone or their computer. Street View not only helps the user to explore virtually, but is also central to Google's mapping efforts, allowing the user to see the most up-to-date information about the world.
Travel back in time with Street View
Street View's focus is about capturing the world as it changes, and it's also a powerful way to remember the past. So, from now on, globally, on Android and iOS, it's easier to travel back in time directly from your phone.
When viewing Street View images of a particular location, the user can tap anywhere on the photo to find out more information about that same location. Then, just tap on "See more dates" to access historical images that have been published from that same location since when Street View was launched in 2007.
It allows the user to browse through each of the images to enter a digital time capsule. This allows you to show how a location has changed.
A new camera created by Google
The way Street View images are collected has changed over the years. From the back of a camel in the Arabian desert to a snowmobile traveling through the Arctic, google has been creative in the way Street View cameras are used to collect images.
In addition to the familiar cars and the Street View trekker, Google is testing a new camera, which will be released next year to help collect new images. These will be of high quality in more locations.
The new camera has all the power, resolution and processing capabilities that were developed for a Street View car. The difference is that this has been reduced to an easily transportable system that is almost the size of a cat.
More images to create a global map
With this new camera and its unique features, Google can guarantee 3 essential points. Thus, Google has in its new camera a reduced weight, less than 6.8 kilos, a completely modular system, which can add components such as Lidar to collect images in more detail.
At the same time, it is adaptable to any vehicle, being able to be attached to any car with roof bars and managed directly from a mobile device. This flexibility makes image collection easier for partners around the world and will allow them to explore more sustainable solutions for Google's car fleet.
It is with these news that Google celebrates 15 years of Street View, bringing even more to users. If time travel can be explored already, everything the new camera will bring will soon be visible.