Google Maps adds immersive view to let you to check out "the vibe"
Google is adding a new mode to its Maps platform that enables users to enjoy sweeping views of cities and neighborhoods in impressive detail. The newly introduced "immersive view" is a mish-mash of its existing Street View and aerial mapping imagery that comes together in a SimCity-esque tool for remote exploration, even allowing interior views of restaurants to help you get a "feel for the vibe."
Google says that immersive view came about through recent advances in computer vision and AI that enabled it to fuse together billions of images from Street View and its aerial maps. The result is a digital model of the world with very impressive resolution and detail, and it looks like the tool might have the functionality to match.
It will apparently work on just about any phone or device and enable users to swoop in on landmarks, cities or neighborhoods for an up-close perspective. Usual Google Maps features like reviews and general information on the business or landmark are integrated into immersive view, but an interesting add-on is the ability to use a time slider to see what they look like at different times of the day.
When you’re planning a trip, virtually soar over iconic landmarks and see them up close.— Google Maps (@googlemaps) May 11, 2022
Then check out what areas look like in different times of day & weather, with helpful information layered on top — so you’ll know if you really need that umbrella and if it’s busy. #GoogleIO pic.twitter.com/sWEyaXH64k
This feature even appears to account for changes in weather and the movement of shadows as the Sun moves across the sky, with the preview clips shared by Google also showing cloud movement, rain and even flying birds. It will be interesting to see what the finished product looks like when it launches later this year, but to us the early signs are pretty damn cool.
Google will roll the feature out in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo to start, with more cities to follow thereafter.