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Archive for May 24th, 2022

Street View turns 15 with a new camera and fresh features

by Ethan Russell on May.24, 2022, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Fifteen years ago, Street View began as a far-fetched idea from Google co-founder Larry Page to build a 360-degree map of the entire world. Fast forward to today: There are now over 220 billion Street View images from over 100 countries and territories — a new milestone — allowing people to fully experience what it’s like to be in these places right from their phone or computer. And Street View doesn't just help you virtually explore, it’s also critical to our mapping efforts — letting you see the most up-to-date information about the world, while laying the foundation for a more immersive, intuitive map.

While that’s all worth celebrating, we aren’t stopping there. Today, we’re unveiling Street View’s newest camera, giving you more ways to explore historical imagery, and taking a closer look at how Street View is powering the future of Google Maps.

Bringing Street View to more places with our newest camera

From the back of a camel in the Arabian desert to a snowmobile zipping through the Arctic, we’ve gotten creative with the ways we’ve used Street View cameras to capture imagery. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that our world changes at lightning speed. Our hardware is one way we’re able to keep up with the pace.

In addition to our Street View car and trekker, we’re piloting a new camera that will fully roll out next year to help us collect high-quality images in more places. This new camera takes all the power, resolution and processing capabilities that we’ve built into an entire Street View car, and shrinks it down into an ultra-transportable camera system that’s roughly the size of a house cat. But unlike house cats, it’s ready to be taken to remote islands, up to the tops of mountains or on a stroll through your local town square.

Street View’s newest camera featuring a blue top and two camera lenses and a metallic bottom with vents

Here’s a quick look at our new camera system:

  • It weighs less than 15 pounds. This means it can be shipped anywhere. This is especially handy when we work with partners around the world to capture imagery of traditionally under-mapped areas — like the Amazon jungle.
  • It’s extremely customizable. Previously, we needed to create an entirely new camera system whenever we wanted to collect different types of imagery. But now, we can add on to this modular camera with components like lidar — laser scanners — to collect imagery with even more helpful details, like lane markings or potholes. We can add these features when we need them, and remove them when we don’t.
  • It can fit on any car. Our new camera can be attached to any vehicle with a roof rack and operated right from a mobile device — no need for a specialized car or complex processing equipment. This flexibility will make collections easier for partners all over the world, and allow us to explore more sustainable solutions for our current fleet of cars — like plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles. You’ll start seeing our new camera in fun Google colors alongside our iconic Street View cars and trekkers next year.

Traveling back in time with Street View

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HBD to us! Let’s celebrate with Street View adventures

by Pegman on May.24, 2022, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Street View is turning 15, and the birthday nostalgia is hitting us hard.

In 2007, we published our first Street View images of San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Miami and Denver. Since then, Street View cars equipped with cameras have captured and shared more than 220 billion Street View images and mapped 10 million miles — the equivalent of circling the globe more than 400 times! We’ve also captured Street View imagery inside cultural landmarks, high up in space and deep under the ocean.

To celebrate Street View’s 15th birthday, we’re sharing 15 amazing Street View collections — including three places the world’s been loving lately, four new collections (consider this our party favor to you), and Street View images that make us feel some kind of way. So raise your glasses — er, cursors — and let's cheers to exploring the world together.

Where you’ve been exploring and new places to go

With so many places and landmarks at your fingertips, three spots in particular piqued your interest over the past year. Here are the three most popular places to explore on Street View: head up to the 154th floor of the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates, which was named the world’s tallest building; the iconic Eiffel Tower in France, complete with dazzling views of Paris from the top; and our special collection of imagery from the Taj Mahal in India.

And for your next Street View excursions, we’ve started rolling out four new collections that we think will become all-time favorites.

A Street View image of the Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan

The Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan: Thanks to new panoramic imagery, explore the ancient pyramids that are home to tombs of the kings and queens of the Kushite Kingdom.

A Street View image of the Crypt in the Duomo in Milan

The Duomo in Milan: The Duomo is the largest cathedral in Italy and the third-largest cathedral in Europe. Not to mention, it boasts one of the best views of Milan. We’ve been working with Google Arts & Culture and the Duomo of Milan since 2019 to bring imagery from inside the Duomo to Street View so that everyone can get a behind-the-scenes look at this architectural and cultural gem — and it’s now live!

A Street View image of Paris from Les Invalides’ golden dome

Les Invalides in Paris: Before the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides’ golden dome was the highest point in Paris. New images of the historic Hôtel des Invalides buildings let you explore its museums and monuments. Learn more about French military history viaa virtual tour.

Sydney Ferries in Australia: The iconic Sydney Ferries will soon be digitally preserved as a result of our work with Transport for New South Wales and Transdev. Later this year, we’ll bring this collection onto Street View so that people around the world can take a virtual tour of Sydney Ferries and get a glimpse of the journey along Sydney’s stunning harbor.

8 Street View images we love

With endless places to explore, it’s difficult to pick favorites — really, you should have seen the list we narrowed this down from — but we gave it our best shot. Here are eight Street View images we love.

Street View image of the active Ambrym Volcano Marum Crater

Does the thought of visiting an active volcano scare you? Us too! A New Zealand-based Googler took a trekker into the active Ambrym Volcano Marum Crater in Vanuatu so you don’t have to.

Street View image of a Greek town next to the ocean

Monemvasia is a Greek town that’s name is derived from two Greek words meaning “single entry.” Fittingly, there is only one way into this rock fortress. Explore the town on Street View without the headache of getting there.

Street View image of an empty chamber with a large chandelier

The Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland is a UNESCO site with a chamber where all decorative elements are made of salt.

Street View image of a grassy hill overlooking the ocean

Calling all scary movie buffs! Can you guess which 1998 horror film this active volcano in Japan served as a backdrop for? (Hint: the title rhymes with “The Wing.”)

Street View image of two camels in front of a castle in the rocks

Does Petra, Jordan look familiar? How about here? The filming location has made cameos in a number of movies, including “Aladdin,” “The Mummy Returns,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

Street View image inside the International Space Station looking down at Earth.

Thanks to a collaboration with NASA, Street Viewers can get a taste of what it’s like to be an astronaut. Ditch the gravity and float through the International Space Station.

Street View image of sea lions swimming underwater.

Dive into the Pacific Ocean and swim with sea lions off the shore of the Galapagos Islands.

Street View image of a  person in a horse mask eating a banana next to a table on the side of the road

And if there’s one Street View image that lives in our heads rent free… it's this horse eating a banana on the side of the road in Canada.

We’re proud of the work we’ve done to capture so much of the world’s wonder, history and quirkiness in Street View. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to all of the Maps users around the world who have captured and shared their own Street View imagery. To help make exploring the world together even easier, we’re launching Street View Studio — a new platform with all the tools you need to publish 360 image sequences quickly and in bulk. Check out more ways we’re advancing Street View so we can explore together for another 15 years.

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