Google offers ‘time travel’ through Street View

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Google is claiming that by using its Street View service, you can at least get an idea of how a street or monument looked a few years ago.

Google says that “time travel” is possible. At least partially. You may not yet travel back in time and look at the dinosaurs up close but Google is claiming that by using its Street View service, you can at least get an idea of how a street or monument looked a few years ago.

“Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop. We’ve gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world,” said Vinay Shet, a product manager with Google Street View team.

In some cases, where the area has significantly changed in the last few years, the new Street View feature offers incredible insight. For example you can “see a landmark’s growth from the ground up, like the Freedom Tower in New York City or the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil”.

Shet added that “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” or users can “experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter”.

The feature, which will be available to Street View users on personal computers from today, can be accessed by clicking a “clock icon” on the top left notification bar in a Street View web page.

While users in India can explore different regions of the world or even some famous India monuments and historical Indian sites using Street View, the feature doesn’t yet covers Indian roads. Google in 2011 started photographing Indian streets in Bangalore but the exercise was stopped after government officials raised security-related reservations. The company is still talking to government officials to resolve the issue.

 

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