Google Street View celebrates 15 years mapping the world

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street view google 1000x600.jpg
street view google 1000x600.jpg

This week marks the fifteenth anniversary of the launch of Street View, a service included in the Google Maps and Earth geographic information systems, which provides panoramic views at street level (360 degrees of horizontal movement) and allows us to visit the main cities of the world as if we were there.

Street View has accumulated a 220 billion images in a database that includes more than 100 countries and territories. For the anniversary, Google has announced a new camera system that packs the power, resolution, and processing capabilities of those previously known to be installed in the company’s vehicles that travel the world, but in a much smaller package.

Most versatile cameras for Street View

The new camera system weighs less than 8 kilograms and can be shipped virtually anywhere in the world. Google says the camera is small enough to be mounted in any vehicle with a roof rack and can be operated remotely from a mobile device. It is also modular and can be upgraded with add-ons like Lidar scanners to enhance its functionality. Google is currently testing the new camera system and expects to deploy it in 2023.

It must be said that in addition to cars, Google uses other devices such as tricycles or snowmobiles to take the images. The most up-to-date cameras are of the fifth generation and include LIDAR measurement systems, a technology that allows the distance from a laser emitter to an object or surface to be determined using a pulsed laser beam. It has been used in professional fields for years (geology, optics, topography or atmospheric physics) and in recent times it has become popular among the general public when it reaches tablets or smartphones, or for what concerns us, Google cars (Waymo ) to create/update your maps.

Another new feature recently added is the ability to view historical Street View images on Android and iOS devices. Simply tap a photo to view location information, then select “See More Dates” to view previous shots of the same location and see how an area has changed over time.

The ambitious project of building a 360-degree world map continues and the truth is that this Street View (along with Google Maps) is among the most used and valued Google services. And with all deserved. Drag the yellow doll (Pegman) and be able to visit the world is a joy.

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.