We have breaking news from Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) on their Street View feature developed 15 years ago as a distant imagination of Google co-founder Larry Page who wanted a 360-degree map of the world. With over 220B Street View images from over 100 countries and territories, Google Street View has made it possible for users to experience locations through their Internet devices.
Google Street View feature is not only a gateway to virtual exploration of places but is considered a critical endeavor to Google’s mapping efforts helping users access the latest information about the world base on an immersive and intuitive map in the foundation. On May 24, 2022, Google introduced the Google Street View camera on its blog, encouraging explorers to dig for historical imagery powering the future of Google Maps.
Google Street View Camera: House Cat for Remote Islands
The new Google Street View camera weighs less than 15 pounds, which is logistics friendly. This is designed with professional photographers in mind moving around with partners worldwide to capture imagery of traditionally under-mapped areas—like the Amazon jungle.
Earlier, based on imagery collection, photographers had to adjust a lot, but this new Street View modular camera has got lidar or laser scanners to collect imagery with even more helpful details, like lane markings or potholes. These components are completely detachable—to be used as required.
The best feature we have agreed on is the camera operated through the user’s mobile when driving with the camera fixed on the car roof. This flexibility helps Google Street view camera developers explore more sustainable solutions like plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles. According to Google, the new camera will appear in Google colors alongside iconic Street View cars and trekkers by 2023.
Time Travel through Google Street View Camera
Starting May 24, 2022, time travel enthusiasts can travel back in time from home or anywhere using their Android and iOS. The process is simple, wherein a user taps on the imagery of a place for “See more dates” for historical data since 2007. Image capsules narrate the evolution of the place—how the Vessel in New York City’s Hudson Yards grew from the ground up.
An Immersive Living without Lifting a Finger
With this new development, Google Street View imagery coupled with AI intelligence helps update Google Maps by listing new businesses, visiting hours, street speed limit, etc. Google Street View AI has updated over 25B entries to Maps in the last three years so that users can be confident with the Map feature.
The Street View imagery has also got a popular enhancement called the Live View. It helps users leverage their phone camera to overlay navigation instructions on the real-world destination in a snap. With an immersive view, one can virtually acclimatize to a place through computer vision and AI. At a Press Meet, the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, shared how users can easily glide down to the street level on Maps and even check out the inside of a business with the upcoming immersive view launching later this year as if one is walking around.
Editorial Note: “While all of these appear to be a great development, back in March 2022, as I was on a backpack in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India, I tweeted about how Google Maps in India is far away from conquering the mountain routes. Anyone relying solely on Google Maps can get lost or pick up a fight with a local for route map suggestions contrary to the Google Map. To this, Google Maps reached out for information, and I shared my suggestion for improvement. As per the Google Street View Camera launch and more ground-level collaboration with travelers and trekkers in the offing for practical realization of mapping, I would hope the Google Maps team will introduce incentives for trekkers and acknowledge people suggesting development to deter misinformation procured through the influence of Google as a brand alone.” Linda Ashok, May 25, 2022.