Google Maps now has Street-Level View

May 30, 2007

This is gonna be very, very useful. Google Maps now has street-level views in five USA cities, with more on the way.

Street viewWhat are street-level views, you might be asking? Ah, when you’re looking at, say, a Google Map of New York City or any city that has this feature, you’ll see a new button in the upper right corner of the map: “Street View.” Click on that, and you’ll see a series of blue lines around blocks having street views. You’ll also see a cute little yellow “person” icon. You can drag this icon (with this “person” bending at the waist as you do so). Whereever you put this person down, you’ll then see a panorama picture of that block. You can click on this picture and drag it around to rotate this view (as if you were turning around) — seeing all the buildings around you in the progress.

Totally awesome.

(Click on the image for a larger size)

Google street view screenshot

The following cities now have this street-level view feature: San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and Denver.

How would you use this feature? You’d scout out a place to see how you’d like it before you even drive there. Or if you’re trying to find a place, now you can see what it looks like from the front. Or you could do virtual tourism, visiting this site and then that site before even flying out there. Or, or, or … The possibilities are (almost) endless.

I should note that Google ain’t the first mapping service to implement this kind of street-level view. Microsoft Live’s mapping service has had “birds-eye view” for a while, and I remember at least one mapping service had street-level views — if I can remember which, I’ll post it here.  [EDIT: Amazon’s A9 service had street-level views too for a while, but A9’s maps are now no longer available.]


2 Responses to “Google Maps now has Street-Level View”

  1. Yeah I saw it last week — very cool feature.

    My friend and I noticed we can see very clear like vehicle identification plate, see people walking by store, driver on cell phone while driving, etc.

    Ouch…again very cool feature :)

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