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Google Maps Street View now lets you revisit the past on mobile

Our favorite desktop feature just went mobile.

Google maps street view in san francisco
Image: KnowTechie

It’s been 15 years since Google first debuted Street View on Google Maps. In that time, it expanded worldwide and even to some areas you’d not expect, like the top of mountains. Now Google is bringing Street View features to more places.

Business information in Google Maps is now partially created by Street View imagery. AI scans for things like speed limits outside, new hours of operation, and even if new businesses have opened. The images produced are also powering Live View for navigation and the new immersive view.

Street View in the mobile app is also getting one of the coolest features from the desktop version. That’s the ability to walk back in time, enabling you to see every image Google has of that place.

READ MORE: Google Maps now lets you see 3D aerial views of famous landmarks

READ MORE: Google Maps can now estimate how much you’ll pay in tolls

You can only go back as far as 2007, when Google first started taking imagery, but it’s cool seeing buildings rise and fall.

Heading into the future of Street View

To get imagery from more places, Google has also designed a new camera. It won’t be in service until next year, but when it does it’ll be going everywhere.

That’s because advances in tech have shrunken the Street View car-sized camera into a more portable form, weighing just 15 pounds. Google has designed it to be modular, so new functionality can be bolted on.

The best part? It can be put on any car with a roof rack, so Google doesn’t have to put the complicated mounting system onto vehicles anymore.

Here’s to the next fifteen years of Street View, we can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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