Google releases historical Street View feature

We first considered this possibility a little over two years ago, and it’s finally here — historical Street View imagery!

historical street view

Activating it is quite simple. While viewing imagery in Street View, simply click the clock in the upper-left part of the screen (as shown in the image above) to choose a different time. Note that this feature is rolling out in stages, and you may not yet have access to it.

The imagery dates back to 2007 in some areas, and could be quite useful in a number of scenarios, particularly as the collection continues to grow over time. This feature is not yet available in Google Earth (only on Google Maps), but presumably will be added at some point in the future. However, Google Earth does have the incredibly useful historical imagery feature. Having both of those available in one interface will be quite nice!

You can read more about this new feature over on the Google Lat Long Blog.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Cool! But when this function be avaiable in Street View in Google Earth?

  2. Despite what this post and the LatLong blog says about this feature being available as of now, it seems it is not yet appearing in Maps – even those in the US – when accessed from outside the US. So, as with the launch of new Maps which was staggered around the world over several weeks, GEB readers may have to wait a while.

    Also another example of Earth getting a lower priority, particularly when the historic imagery slider feature is already there.

  3. Micah Walton says:

    I don’t think Earth is getting a lower priority. I can’t get it to work anywhere and I’m in the U.S. using the browsers street view.

  4. I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina and it is already appearing!!!! Excellent tool!!!

  5. The feature does appear in US Google Maps, but you must be using the most current version and NOT the classic version of Google Maps. On the system where I use the classic version I don’t see it, but I do see it on the new Google Maps on a different computer.

    • The 23 April announcement on LatLong (and in news items based on it) was too simplistic and unhelpful – ‘rolled out worldwide [in new Maps] over the next few days’ would have been more correct, and entirely reasonable given the size of the operation.

      The feature has arrived just today, for example, on Google UK, and one plus point is that it works in Safari, unlike the new 3D imagery. Want does emerge is the frequency of Street View image updates in some major cities – the cars must drive around new York continuously 🙂

  6. I’d actually about given up on this being a real thing after seeing they seemed to be removing old imagery after a couple of years. As it turns out, they were just changing up the API to be cleaner in dealing with it.

  7. Micah Walton says:

    It just appeared for me in Google Maps. Wasn’t working till now. But, like they said it’s taking a few days to roll out everywhere I guess.

  8. This is awesome! Can’t wait for the feature to come to Google Earth!

  9. ben reuter says:

    why not start to add pictures (at certain places) with real historic background of the places … e.g. well published street views of the 30ties ?

  10. SpiderX22 says:

    This new feature seems to have somewhat screwed up SV imagery in Google Earth/Google Maps. Example, this plane is seen from before the historical feature was added (older link):,-97.296852&spn=0.059196,0.132093&t=k&layer=c&cbll=27.706831,-97.296852&panoid=O8_0yaeKEsHSRnRh_iNA6Q&cbp=12,86.43,,2,-49.45&z=14

    Now if we go to that spot in the current time (lift up the SV guy and put him down again):,-97.29681&spn=0.059196,0.132093&t=k&layer=c&cbll=27.706655,-97.296218&panoid=_8hhB2z9W9C2p9ZdNTT-Pw&cbp=12,195.67,,0,-6.61&z=14

    The imagery goes from March 2011 to awful 2007 imagery. It set the default to the old imagery. In both new/old Google Maps. AND, even if you switch to the 2011 imagery with the SV historical feature, the plane is nowhere to be seen, even in the 2011 imagery, despite it also being March 2011. I don’t know if there’s new imagery here, or what, but the plane has officially disappeared. This is super annoying, cause it’s happening EVERYWHERE. I’ve lost hundreds of planes in my collection on imagery whose date hasn’t changed but the plane isn’t there.

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