Google Maps just got a little more interesting as Google today announced a new feature which transforms Map’s street view into a time machine. Now, users can use the street view on Maps to travel back in time and see how places have changed during the past 7 years.
The feature allows a user to browse through the images of a place over the past few years. So, significant changes like new constructions or the effects of the disasters can be seen over the course of time via the street view’s Time Machine button.
Images from the past 7 years
Google’s Street View project was launched back in 2007 and its camera mounted cars have driven over 5 million miles in over 50 countries. While these Globe Trekkers have been going around in these countries for the past 7 years, only the recent images of the places on the map are available on street view. So, when these cars take a second round of these places, the new images replace the old ones.
This particular system has been running for the past few years and the company has plenty of images to reveal how each place has changed over the course of time. Finally, it looks like Google has enough images of these places to show users how everything has changed since it first started this project.
How to access this feature
User can access this feature right from Google Street View. On the corner of the screen, they will find a clock like icon. Clicking on this icon will reveal images from the past 7 years and will show them how the place has changed during the time. Luckily, users can change the year as well as the season to compare these changes.
A true record of the world
According to Google, the company is looking to create a true record of the world with such stunning images of places taken from its street view cars.
“This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history, like the reconstruction after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan. You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter,” said Vinay Shet, Product Manager at Google.
It is also said that this was one of the most requested feature by its users since its launch. According to Google, Maps users have many a times requested a timeline like feature where they could browse through the changes that have happened in the past few years. With these images, users can see how their houses and high schools looked like a few years back and what new additions have been made to their town in the past couple of years.
This time lapse feature is currently available only for Google Map’s desktop version and it is still not clear whether the company would release this for its mobile version too.
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