This story was originally published and last updated .
Google Maps is far more than a tool we use just for finding our way around, and there's a huge discovery component to it as well — who hasn't scrolled around Maps looking for a new restaurant to try out? And while the standard overhead view is plenty useful, sometimes you want to really immerse yourself in a place with a first-person Street View experience. So far, though, navigating Maps in Street View has come at a price, as you wouldn't see those discoverable markers for businesses and points of interest. Now that's finally changing, as Google deploys an AR-style overlay that bring place markers to Street View.
Google Maps' Street View is the best in the biz, and although it's been available on Android for years, it was never as well-integrated in the app as it's been on desktop. That's changing now, though — Google has just added a "Street View" layer in the Maps app that makes using the feature a lot easier.
Google has spent years cruising down roads to gather data for Street View, but it isn't just after photographic data. The Street View cars also collect information about local WiFi networks, and a 2010 lawsuit alleged Google grabbed too much data. After nearly a decade of legal wrangling, Google is putting this issue to rest by paying a mere $13 million. That's a pittance compared to the billions in damages many observers predicted years ago.
Unless you've been living under a rock in recent weeks, you may have heard about some soccer thing that's happening soon (football, to those of us this side of the Atlantic). The 2018 FIFA World Cup is almost upon us, and Google has some tricks up its sleeve to assist fans around the globe. As the tournament kicks off with Russia vs Saudi Arabia next Thursday, new features in the Google app will help you keep up with all the action. Other Google products will also be on hand to improve the experience, including Assistant, News, Trends, and Maps.
You know what's fun? Going to a Disney theme park. You know what's even more fun? Being paid to go to a Disney theme park. That's what a few lucky Google employees got to do, because the company announced today that eleven Disney parks have been mapped on Street View. This includes Walt Disney World, California Adventures, Disneyland Paris, and others.
Google's Street View has become ubiquitous. It's one of the pioneering features of Google Maps, and it has become such an integrated part of our modern lives that we might take it for granted. Not long ago, looking around from an arbitrary point on a map would have sounded like science fiction, but today that's just another way to see where something is. Now Google's making that experience even better, by improving how Street View stitches together its elaborate 360-degree panorama images.
Earlier in the year, Google announced that it would be working with hardware partners to launch Street View ready cameras that anyone could buy. There were four different types of cameras mentioned: mobile, auto, VR, and workflow. Thanks to Insta360, it's now possible to get your hands on the very first Street View auto ready camera.
Eight years ago, Circuit City closed its remaining stores, Michael Jackson died, and Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. Eight years ago was also the last time Google's Street View cameras got a major upgrade. According to Wired, the company has started rolling out updated cameras to its fleet of picture-snapping cars.
The new rig now features just seven cameras, down from the 15 mounted on the old version. Each camera has a 20MP sensor, and two 'cans' on the front and back for laser radar. All these upgrades will make for higher-resolution pictures with enhanced image clarity.
Many people's lifelong dreams include visiting outer space. While it's probable that the vast majority of people won't get to visit space, at least in this lifetime, space can still be experienced via the wonders of the Internet. Case in point: the International Space Station can now be explored in Google Maps' Street View.
It's hard to believe, but Google's Street View is officially 10 years old. What started out as a goofy little side project (like many of Google's most interesting products) has now managed to image numerous countries in every continent on the planet. The Google Maps add-on has even managed to gain a new lease of life with respect to virtual reality, and has proven popular as an educational tool taking learners all around the world on tours to places they might never get to see with their own eyes.