Can you tell which is Canada and which is Madagascar?
As you can see below, the actual area covered with new Street View imagery hardly makes a difference to the global Street View map. However, with a high quality 360 degree panorama every few metres it is still a lot of imagery.
Street View changes (in red) between March 12th, 2015 and May 7th, 2015. Be sure to check the larger version here.
If you are curious as to how we created the above map, we used this html file, which uses the Google Maps API to show the Street View coverage of the world. We then used a Chrome extension called ‘Full Page Screen Capture’ to capture a screen shot of it. We took another screen shot at a later date and used a graphics editor to compare the two and mark the differences in red. It doesn’t just find new Street View, but also finds changes to Google Maps at that zoom level. For example, some cities in China appear to have gained prominence, there have been some changes to the coastline of Greenland and Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan got a bit bigger. There are also minor changes to coastlines and country borders all over the world.
Google Street View includes three different sources of imagery:
Google Street View captured using Google’s special cameras mounted on cars / boats or the Trekker.
Google Views, which consists of user submitted imagery, typically 360° panoramas. The easiest way to do this is with Google’s Photo Sphere app on a smart phone.
Google Business View, which is Street-View-like imagery for businesses. This consists of professionally photographed 360° panoramas of business premises.
It appears that neither Google Views nor Business View is currently working in Google Earth. Thank you to GEB reader Steve for bringing this to our attention. According to this thread on Google Groups the issue may have been caused by the removal of Google Views and Business View from the classic version of Google Maps.
Street View is shown as blue lines. Blue dots indicate individual panoramas, typically user-submitted Google Views, and orange dots indicate indoor imagery, typically Business Views.
There are two other serious issues with Street View in Google Earth. The first is that in many locations, entering Street View, typically in cities with lots of tall buildings, causes Street View to crash. We first noticed this when New York and San Francisco received 3D updates, but it has since been reported that many other cities have a similar problem.
The second issue is that many locations that do have Street View do not show the blue lines that indicate the presence of Street View. Examples of this are the location of Street View on a zip line we looked at earlier this month, the Street View imagery in the Mount Everest region and even some indoor imagery, such as the White House. The imagery is accessible in Google Earth if you know where to drop the yellow man.
Google Earth also has access to two other sets of panoramic imagery not accessible via Google Maps. These are found via the Google Earth ‘Photos’ layer. They are Panoramio and 360 cities.
When Street View started it was named ‘Street View’ because it was captured using cameras mounted on the roof of a car driving along streets. Since then Google has been shrinking the equipment, initially fitting it on a trike and later making it small enough to carry on your back known as the Street View trekker.
Click the image to explore in Google Maps’ Street View, or download this KML to find the location in Google Earth. The blue Street View outlines do not show in Google Earth, but if you drag the yellow man directly onto the pin, it should still to take you to the zip line images.
Navigation can be a little difficult and the view directly downwards is not good at all. The technique usually used on roads to erase the Street View car by using imagery from the next spot along the road doesn’t work so well in the air.
Google has released some Street View imagery in Greenland. Thank you to GEB reader Chris for bringing this to our attention. There is also significant expansion to the coverage of Bangladesh that we looked at earlier this month.
The last major addition of Street View imagery to a new location was the addition of Argentina and an expansion of the Malaysian imagery in September last year.
Now Google has added Street View to Bangladesh. Thank you to GEB reader Martin for letting us know about this. The coverage is currently only in two cities, Chittagong and Dhaka. They are, however, Bangladesh’s two largest cities. According to Wikipedia Dhaka has a population of over 12 million people and is the 9th largest city in the world.
Bangladesh Street View coverage.
Some pretty impressive electrical wiring in Dhaka.See it in Street View here.
There have not been many other additions to Street View since September last year. We took a screen shot of the Street View map on September 26th, 2014 and have compared it to a screen shot from February 6th, 2015 and found both additions to Street View and apparently subtractions, too!
Additions to Street View (red areas).
Some Street View appears to have been been removed (red areas), but we suspect it is just variation in how Google displays street view coverage at that zoom level.