My Google Map Blog

Tag: street view

Google Street View goes to the International Space Station

by Timothy Whitehead on Jul.21, 2017, 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

Yesterday Google announced on its blog that they have added views of the International Space Station (ISS) to Google Street View. The Google blog post is written by Thomas Pesquet, Astronaut at the European Space Agency (ESA), who spent six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as a flight engineer. The ISS Street View is not currently available in Google Earth, so explore it here.

The ISS is in orbit around the earth and so does not have a specific location so Google has decided to place the Street View in Building 9 – Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The building houses mockups of every major pressurized module on the International Space Station. It is also not far from the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center. The Mission Control Center is the building from which flight controllers command, monitor, and plan operations for the ISS.

Interestingly, one of the mockup modules has a user contributed photosphere and we couldn’t identify the equivalent module in the new Street View. If any of our readers can tell us which it is, let us know in the comments.

The Google Blog post incorrectly states that this is the first time Street View imagery has been captured beyond planet Earth. In fact, both the Moon and Mars have had Street View for quite some time.

Another interesting comment is that this is the first time that Street View has included annotations. This is such a new feature that it is not yet working on Google’s dedicated Street View site, only in Google Maps. Let’s hope the feature comes to Google Earth too – including the ability to annotate using KML.


Annotations in Street View is a new feature.

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Using Computer Vision and Street View to Map Urban Change

by Timothy Whitehead on Jul.11, 2017, 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

Researchers at MIT have been using computer vision to look at Street View and map urban change over time. Read more about it on Maps Mania. The original paper from MIT is here and a map of several US cities with their results is here. Look for white dots on the maps to see ‘before and afters’ of various locations using Street View.

Detroit has seen dramatic change, gradually falling to one third of its maximum population from 1950 to date. Unfortunately, Street View and overhead imagery only cover the most recent changes, but even so, significant changes can be seen.

before
after

Aerial imagery, Highland Park, Detroit, showing houses removed between 2002 and 2016.

before
after

Street View of Highland St, Highland Park, Detroit, showing houses decaying between 2009 and 2013. The houses have since been demolished.

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Street View comes to Malta and greater coverage in South Korea

by Timothy Whitehead on Jun.16, 2017, 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

Thank you to GEB reader Adino for letting us know that the island nation of Malta is the latest country to get Street View. We also discovered that South Korea has received expanded coverage.


Street View coverage, Malta.


Maltese buildings are various shades of beige and ornate balconies are popular. See in Google Maps


St. Paul’s Catacombs, an underground network of burial chambers dating from the fourth to the ninth centuries AD. See in Google Maps.


Street View coverage, South Korea.

Previously, South Korea only had coverage around Seoul and Busan.


Traditional Korean architecture. See in Google Maps.

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Using Street View Cars to Measure Air Quality

by Timothy Whitehead on Jun.06, 2017, 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

For the past few years, Google’s Street View cars in some locations have not just been taking photos, but have also been measuring air quality. We first looked at this back in 2014 then again in 2016. At the time, we reported that they were measuring methane levels to help identify gas leaks. It seems that at some point they mounted more sensors and have also mapped out other pollutants, including nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and black carbon. Read more about it on Google’s blog.

The resulting maps can be found on the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) website.


A map by the EDF showing the pollution along the roads of West Oakland (near San Francisco).

A lot of factors affect the amount of pollution caused by cars, including the volume of traffic, the types of vehicles and whether or not they are typically accelerating on a given stretch of road.

Given that Street View cars are regularly travelling the streets of many parts of the world, other environmental organisations would do well to collaborate with Google on such projects. Google very early on saw that having cars driving around could have other uses, and it is commendable that they are making the data accessible.

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User contributed photos and the new Google Earth

by Timothy Whitehead on May.02, 2017, 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

One welcome improvement to the new Google Earth over Google Earth Classic is that the user contributed photos now work. For a long time, Google Earth Classic has shown the blue dots representing user contributed photos, but dropping Pegman on them doesn’t work.

However, when you compare the blue Street View layers between the new Google Earth and Google Maps, we find there are a lot less blue dots marking user contributed photos. Below we compare the blue Street View layer around the Washington Monument (Washington DC, USA) in the new Google Earth and Google Maps.


New Google Earth.


Google Maps.

As you can see above, Google Maps has a lot more blue dots. However, if you know exactly where to drop Pegman, all the photos are still accessible in the new Google Earth, they just don’t show in the blue layer. In Google Maps and both versions of Google Earth, the blue layer changes as you zoom in and out and you see more dots as you zoom in, but one would expect that at maximum zoom you should be able to see all user contributed content. Below is a location on Table Mountain where I captured some Street View along one of the trails using a cell phone:


Left: Google Maps. Right: New Google Earth.

As you can see above, none of the blue dots show in the new Google Earth. But if you drop Pegman there, then the images do open. We thought that possibly the layer is out of date, but when we had a look at Guatemala, which got fresh Street View recently, we find that the layer is up to date in the new Google Earth.


Left: Google Maps. Right: New Google Earth.

When zoomed out there is a noticeable absence of blue dots in the new Google Earth as compared to Google Maps.

Google really needs to sort this out and give user contributed content more prominence – especially given that the new Earth does not include the popular Panoramio and 360 Cities layers from Google Earth Classic. Panoramio is set to be shut down completely in November.

One tip for exploring the blue Street View outlines layer in the new Google Earth is to drop Pegman where there is no Street View (in the middle of an ocean for example). A message appears saying “Select a location highlighted in blue to enter Street View” and until you close the message or choose to enter Street View, you can explore without the blue layer disappearing.

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Street View comes to Guatemala

by Timothy Whitehead on Apr.26, 2017, 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

Thank you to GEB reader Adino for letting us know that Street View has recently come to Guatemala.


Street View coverage, Guatemala.


View in Google Maps. View in New Google Earth (requires Google Chrome or Android app).


View in Google Maps. View in New Google Earth (requires Google Chrome or Android app).


View in Google Maps. View in New Google Earth (requires Google Chrome or Android app)

We were not able to find any Mayan pyramids captured in Street View other than glimpses of them through the trees, but there are user submitted photos available.

The Street View camera also took a boat ride on Lake Atitlán.

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Street View comes to Tunisia and a Vanuatuan volcano

by Timothy Whitehead on Mar.20, 2017, 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

Google has recently added Street View for Tunisia and the island of Ambrym, Vanuatu.

Tunisia

Tunisia has some interesting architecture, including mosques, churches and even ancient Roman ruins.


Mosquée Malek Ibn Anas de Carthage. See it in Google Maps


Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul Évêque de Tunis.See it in Google Maps


The Amphitheatre of El Jem. See it in Google Maps

The blue outlines for Tunisia are not yet visible in Google Earth, but the Street View is accessible. Still, it is much easier to explore with Google Maps.

Volcano on Ambrym, Vanuatu

Ambrym is a volcanic island in the archipelago of Vanuatu that features one of the largest boiling lava lakes in the world. Google recently visited it with the Street View Trekker. Read more about it here.


One of the lava lakes. See it in Google Maps


Camped right next to an active volcano! See it in Google Maps

The blue outlines for Vanuatu are not yet visible in Google Earth, and it doesn’t appear to be possible to access the Vanuatu Street View via Google Earth at present. So use Google Maps instead.

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Street View comes to Ghana and Senegal

by Timothy Whitehead on Feb.14, 2017, 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

Google has recently added Street View for the countries Senegal and Ghana. Some of the imagery is as old as 2015.


Street View coverage for Ghana.


Street View coverage for Senegal.


The Great Mosque of Touba, Senegal. See in Google Maps.


Elmina Castle, Ghana. See in Google Maps

Other countries in Africa with Street View include South Africa and Botswana, which have extensive coverage. Uganda has Street View in its capital Kampala and a few parks. Kenya and Tanzania so far only have a few game parks covered.

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Street View comes to Ghana and Senegal

by Timothy Whitehead on Feb.14, 2017, 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

Google has recently added Street View for the countries Senegal and Ghana. Some of the imagery is as old as 2015.


Street View coverage for Ghana.


Street View coverage for Senegal.


The Great Mosque of Touba, Senegal. See in Google Maps.


Elmina Castle, Ghana. See in Google Maps

Other countries in Africa with Street View include South Africa and Botswana, which have extensive coverage. Uganda has Street View in its capital Kampala and a few parks. Kenya and Tanzania so far only have a few game parks covered.

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New Street View coverage 2016

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.26, 2016, 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

Today we are looking at progress made by Street View in 2016. The map below shows not just changes to Street View but also some other changes Google has made to Google maps over the course of the year. Subtle changes in the fonts results in much of the text being highlighted. In some cases labels have been moved or removed or added (usually this just means a change to what zoom level they appear at). There are also changes to the coastline of northern Greenland and more minor changes to coastlines and water bodies worldwide. Google has increased the promotion of user contributed views which resulted in blue dots being shown on the map even when zoomed out. In the past, one could only see them when zoomed in quite a long way. Sadly user contributed views still do not work in Google Earth. The blue dots are shown but you cannot view the imagery.

The map does not track updates to Street View where there was already existing Street View.


Changes to the Street View map over 2016. Blue: previously existing Street View, Red: changes to the map including Street View.
Large version

The main new recipients of Street View were:

Reunion in February

Sri Lanka in March

Kyrgyztan in May

Albania and Montenegro in November

Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands in December

Bangladesh, Mongolia, the Philippines, Indonesia Thailand, and Bolivia saw significant increases in coverage.


A map in Street View on Réunion. See in Street View

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