Google Announced StreetView for Google Maps




[Updated: 1130 PT] John Hanke of Google has just announced at Where 2.0 a new cool feature for Google Maps. It’s only available in five cities (San Francisco, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, New York), but this is definitely worth trying out! You have to have the latest Flash (version 9 or newer) to use this new feature. It lets you view street level views based on photos taken by a car driving along the streets. The photos are very high resolution, so you actually can have up to 16x zoom to let you pan and get closer to things at the ground level for a location. John showed an example of looking at a parking lot and being able to zoom in and read the sign to determine whether it was a public parking area and what the price for parking is. Attached is a screenshot of a view from near the Golden Gate Bridge. The really interesting thing with this is zooming and panning around. You can also drag the little human icon to pick a new location for viewing.
Here’s a video by Google showing off the new feature. Here’s their post about it at the Google Lat Long Blog
Amazon had previously done something similar, called A9 Maps, where they had street level photos. But, the interactivity and zooming levels of Google’s implementation seems to make it more appealing. Chances are Google has a better chance of making this popular. No word yet on whether this directly or indirectly has to do with the announcement of licensing Stanford’s robotic car technology to make 3D buildings.
Also announced is “Google Mapplets”. More details at the Google Lat Long Blog. This allows you to create a maps mashup on the fly. You can have multiple maps selectable by radio buttons. It uses a Google Gadget to add to the Google Maps interface a new tab. Here’s a preview.

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Comments

  1. Georges Azzi says:

    just add “&gl=us” at the URL to try it if you can see it right away

  2. I don’t see it :( I try it for a hour yet, have the newest Flash Player on my computer, but there is still no new button for StreetView in Google Maps. Can anybody help please?

  3. when will streetview work? there is nothing right now in maps.google.com

  4. smokeonit says:

    doesn’t seem to work under osX 10.4.9 and flash 9.0.r45. i checked if the flash i got installed is the latest version, it is!
    safari and firefox don’t show street view:-(

  5. Streetview is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time!
    Quite staggering actually. I’m blown away.
    I’ll be using this feature to look for a nice hotel and restaurant.

  6. Yes, the &gl=us works, thank you!

  7. This is awesome ! Works great in Denver

  8. smokeonit says:
  9. cool thing is that you can just use arrow keys to move forward and look around and if you come to intersection you can easily follow another road

  10. smokeonit says:

    they even cover small streets…
    friends of mine in palo alto live in a dead end street and the drove by there too… even though palo alto is not listed street view covers almost all of the peninsula!
    great tool, a little slow though… a little laggy and the picture quality could be better… but overall a great addition to GM… hopefully GE will get this as a plugin soon! then it must works faster too since it won’t have to run as a web plugin;-)

  11. Sorry, Microsoft – but this blows away the initial Street Level attempt that was made previously, in all around usability and streaming speed. This is an incredibly smart integration of Flash in the Maps model.
    My bias is now officially even greater. (Does that sound dirty to you? Yikes.)

  12. smokeonit says:

    microsoft and their windows OS only attitude is just plain stupid! but it shows where M$ stands and has been standing since it was founded…
    the clunkyness of virtual earth and again how they try to copy their competition is sickening!
    my 2 cents

  13. smokeonit says:

    now GM street view works without the address hack!

  14. You might checkout the coverage map for the Immersive Media City Collect project which is one of the data sources for Google:
    http://demos.immersivemedia.com/onlinecities/

  15. Duncan Brinsmead says:

    Incredible! One should make sure to look at San Francisco region as the photos are much higher resolution than in the other cities. In full screen mode it works great. Also I found that it was fastest to navigate using the arrows on the keypad, using ‘+’,’-’ when you wanted to zoom in. The response when using the mouse was a little slower and more cumbersome. The draw of the purple streetview regions seemed to slow the map view quite a bit, although hopefully they will improve this eventually. It would be cool to see some form of this in Google Earth. One could potentially even match up the current camera angles between the street view and GE.
    Duncan

  16. This guy is already posting interesting scenery via StreetView…
    http://www.laudontech.com/StreetView/streetview.html

  17. smokeonit says:

    good find! (that motorcycle is a monstrosity)
    i dunno why, but it caught my eye that in that google team in that easter egg there’s not one african american… some googster with asian roots, some googsters looking indian/pakistani, and some caucasians… but not one african american…

  18. smokeonit says:
  19. There is a new way to see street view,Mobile DVR with Google Earth!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhkuj0KY_xw

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  22. It has just been announced by Google that Streetview is coming to Australia! :) Cars with the 360 degree cameras mounted on the roof have been spotted in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Due to Australia’s privacy laws, Google Australia has stated that all number (licence) plates and peoples faces will be blurred. Here is an article from the Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/googles-candid-camera-snaps-australia/2007/11/23/1195753275851.html

  23. It is just a matter of time before we get to link into all the traffic cameras and become virtually omniscient beings. Too bad we cannot control our childish instincts. Ah well, Cathetel, the angel is with us in our travels.

  24. Niranjan says:

    Why nobody is talking about Linux support? I am using UBUNTU and can not see the image in “StreetView” window.

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  26. Street view has incredible potential for virtual tourism. You can really walk around and get to familiarize yourself with a new city before you even leave your computer. Well done Google

  27. I read somewhere last week about Google now planning to acquire drone aircraft for a future round of streetview imaging. This would certainly avoid the stalling problems affecting some of their streetcars e.g. being block by protests in some neighbourhoods.

  28. I personally love google maps. The street view feature is fantastic and I find this really helpful…
    I have go give google full credit here. They certainly know how to build great tools and can;t wait to see what they come out with next!!
    Mike.

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  30. Google Earth insists that I do not have Flash player =< 10. I do and have reinstalled it several times, but Google does not see it, so I can’t get street view to work!

  31. This is a great feature. it has helped me more than once to get were I want to go.
    it has the ingormation GPS doesn’t. It’s like a future movie!!
    Keep coming great things!

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