After 15 years, Google Street View has become the de facto destination for people trying to figure out where they’re going. Without Street View, I would have spent countless days and nights wandering in foreign places, wondering where my hotel was or which side to cross the street to enter the station.
In honor of this must-have Google feature, which turns 15 birthday this week, the company is rolling out a host of useful new features for anyone who relies on Street View to get around town. The first important thing is that Google is bringing historical data from Street View to both the feature iPhone and Android apps. Although it’s been around on desktop browsers for a long time, it’s a godsend that it’s now available on mobile. Sometimes you have to refer to what a place looked like before it was, for example, covered in construction cranes and delivery trucks.
HistoricalData from al Street View will begin rolling out today, although it may take at before officially arriving on your devices. The option will appear on iOS and Android devices, offering you to “see more dates,” next to the most recent photo of the area you are looking at.
If you have a 360 degree camera in your neighborhood – I use an Insta360 One RS to capture footage of my child – you can also contribute to Google Street View. New Studio with street view is a web application you can launch to get “all the tools you need to quickly and mass publish 360° image sequences”. While Google has done this sort of thing before (I remember explicitly uploading a 360 degree photo of my visit to Big Sur a few years ago on Google Maps), it will help the company outsource some of the places it cannot map. . You will find a list of compatible Street View cameras on a Google support page.
Speaking of cameras, Google is launching a new camera specifically for Street View. In a blog postthe company writes:
This new camera takes all the power, resolution, and processing capabilities we’ve packed into an entire Street View car, and squeezes it into an ultra-portable camera system that’s about the size of a house cat. But unlike house cats, he’s ready to be taken to remote islands, to the tops of mountains, or on a walk in your local town square.
I will say that my friends with adventurous house cats would disagree. But I digress! The new Street View camera is currently in pilot mode, and the company plans to roll it out fully next year. The camera looks a bit like a character from Wall-E and weighs less than 15 lbs. It’s also “extremely customizable”. Google can easily add additional components like lidar scanners to the platform. The Street View camera can also fit into any car, making it easier for the company to break out of its usual fleet of vehicles it uses to collect map data.
Waze gets Apple Music
While it doesn’t directly coincide with this particular Street View anniversary, Google has released an update to its other maps app. Waze announcement that it officially supports Apple Music through its app. You can now listen to Apple Music content directly from Waze audio player, including curated playlists and Apple Music radio. The app joins Deezer, Spotify, NPR, iHeartRadio, Pandora, YouTube Music and Amazon Music as part of the list.