Google announced today that it’s adding an interesting new feature to Google Maps that will allow users to view historical imagery through Google’s Street View feature. Rather than just being able to view the latest imagery that Google has updated its Maps with (which is usually a year or two old), you can now browse through previous imagery for any location using a new clock icon that appears in the upper left corner of some Street View imagery.
Now with Street View, you can see a landmark’s growth from the ground up, like the Freedom Tower in New York City or the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil. This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history, like the reconstruction after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan. You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter.
There are a lot of interesting things to check out using the new feature. Google points out that the feature serves as a history book in images, allowing users to virtually travel to historical locations and view them as they once were. For now it looks like the feature will be limited to the new Google Maps for desktop users.