Google Street View has been on many expeditions through time and through our planet, from the Amazon to Greenland, from the Philippines to Jordan to Machu Picchu, but no mission has been as cute as this exploration of the world's largest model railway in Hamburg, Miniatur Wunderland.
It's an exhibit of a tiny world with tiny buildings, 13000 meters of tiny tracks and tiny things with more than 200000 tiny citizens doing what they do. Everything is interactive, the lights change with the day, the trains move, the planes lift off, the fair rides turn, the people dance and bike, and the nature and surroundings are as much of an honest replica as they can be of the real thing.
As a former student of archaeology, Machu Picchu is a place that has always fascinated me. As someone direly afraid of heights, Machu Picchu is a place I will almost certainly never go, barring the invention of personal air transport. As such, today I was quite pleased to learn that Google's globetrotting street view team has mapped the ancient city-temple-palace-agrarian-center with a backpack of many, many cameras.
Machu Picchu sits nearly 8000 feet above sea level, and its real purpose still largely eludes archaeologists and ancient historians to this day. While it's clear it housed royalty and peasants alike, was used for religious purposes, commerce, and extensive agriculture, exactly why it made sense to the Inca to build what essentially amounted to a mountaintop city remains unclear.
Google Street View hit 2.0 back in September, and everyone who captures, uploads, and manages photo spheres cheered in unison. Performing any of these actions became easier after the app separated from Google Maps, but there is always room for improvement. Today, Google released a new version that adds a few features that will make life a little easier for doing certain things.
• Import photo spheres from your device
• Expanded support for linked spherical cameras
• Bulk actions
Importing photo spheres has been on my wish list since the app was first launched. In the past, I have taken photo spheres using the Google Camera, which were stuck outside of Street View.
I don't know about you, but sometimes Google Street View still blows my mind. Living in 2015, we have the ability to take out our phones and experience what it's like to walk the streets of a distant city. From my browser I've had views of Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia that I will likely never have in person.
Google Street View launched as a true standalone app just last month, becoming something of a shared gallery for the world's most awesome locales. People can easily look through and contribute to a vast selection of great photographs and photospheres from around the globe. But if you were looking for the truly immersive experience, the app was still somewhat lacking. That is, until now. The latest update adds Google Cardboard support, so everybody can take a trip without leaving their home.
To switch modes, just tap on the new Cardboard icon in the top-right corner of the screen on any 360-degree photo.
Here in the States, we largely take Street View for granted. Sure, Google hasn't sent cameras down our large web of rural roads, but it has covered the bulk of our cities and large towns.
These days, the search giant is making its way to other parts of the globe. Not too long ago it took pictures you can only find deep in the Amazon or in a kayak around Malaysia. Now it's showing off the footage it got from carrying a camera through the many streets and diverse environments of the Philippines.
This means you can pick up Google's little orange avatar guy and drop him onto the many roads of Manila, the country's capital.
Google Street View has always been a part of Google Maps on Android, even though it was technically a separate APK. Everything is changing today with the big v2.0 Street View update. For the first time ever, Street View is a standalone app in your app drawer with its own distinct functionality. There's a lot to sort through here, so let's dig in.
If you felt like Google clubbed you over the head with tons of announcements and releases last week, you're not alone. Between giving out the codename for Android M, a new preview release, an Android Wear update, and about a dozen other things, it was a huge week. Toward the end of the onslaught, a fairly innocuous update to Google Maps bumped the version up to 9.13 and it has a couple of useful shortcuts that deserve a look. There's also a new Google app, but it's not in the Play Store, and that deserves a Teardown-style discussion of its own.
Google Maps lets you take a look at cities and landmarks from all over the world, but its Street View feature primarily allows you to take a virtual walk along roads and sidewalks. Yet that hasn't stopped Google from using it to show off the world's natural beauties and majestic man-made monuments alike. Without leaving your seat, you can view the Pyramids of Giza, and the beautifully cold parts of Greenland. Now Google will let you experience what it's like to ride a zip line through the Amazon rainforest.