To mark the 15th anniversary of Street View, Google Maps is rolling out a slew of features including the ability to view historical data on Android and iOS, as well as a new camera system.

Google Maps on the web introduced the ability to see older Street View captures in 2014. This ability to “travel back in time” is now coming to the Android and iOS app. Upon launch, there will be a “See more dates” button that opens a carousel of older captures for that location. Street View imagery can date back all the way to 2007, with this historical browsing feature rolling out starting today in mobile Google Maps. 

Meanwhile, Google introduced Street View Studio to let you “publish 360 image sequences quickly and in bulk.” The tool lets you upload 360 videos with the ability to preview before doing so. You can filter by filename, location, and processing status, and receive browser notifications upon completion.

Easily upload, manage, and track your Street View content. Kick back and relax while we do the work.

Other consumer updates to mark the birthday include Pegman on sporting a birthday hat and balloons, while the Street View car is available as your navigation icon when driving. 

Speaking of those vehicles, Google is “piloting” a Street View camera that is considerably smaller than anything that came before. This ultra-transportable system weighs less than 15 pounds and is — according to the company — “roughly the size of a house cat.” 

This means it can be shipped anywhere. This is especially handy when we work with partners around the world to capture imagery of traditionally under-mapped areas — like the Amazon jungle.

This new camera is modular to let Google add “components like lidar — laser scanners — to collect imagery with even more helpful details, like lane markings or potholes” as needed. Lastly, it can be attached to any car with a roof rack and controlled from a mobile device (versus specialized car and complex processing equipment). It will fully roll out next year and continue to improve features like Live View AR navigation.

Current vs. upcoming

This flexibility will make collections easier for partners all over the world, and allow us to explore more sustainable solutions for our current fleet of cars — like plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles. You’ll start seeing our new camera in fun Google colors alongside our iconic Street View cars and trekkers next year.

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Abner Li

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