On Wednesday, Google launched a new feature on Google Maps, the Immersive View. It combines billions of satellite images with those captured by Google Street View.
The idea is to offer people a new way to explore their map service by allowing them to “fly” over places of interest. According to Google, drones were not used. The displacement effect occurs because computer vision and artificial intelligence systems were used to merge these 3D images.
The announcement was made today during the annual developer conference, Google I/O.
“With our new immersive vision, you’ll be able to experience what a popular neighborhood, landmark, restaurant or venue is like — and even feel like you’re there before you even step inside,” the company says.
How it works?
According to Google, the immersive view allows you to follow the same area at different times of the day and weather conditions, in addition to showing where the busiest points are.
“Let’s say you’re planning a trip to London and want to discover the best sights and places to eat. With a quick search, you can virtually fly over Westminster to see the neighborhood and the stunning architecture of places like Big Ben from close”, highlights the company.
It is also possible to zoom in on the screen so that it gets very close to a street, for example, to explore nearby restaurants and see useful information, such as if it is a very busy place. “You can even look inside them to get a quick feel of the vibe of the place before you book,” says Google.
Google vice president of engineering Liz Reid compared the new feature to the one offered by Google Earth’s zoom, but at a neighborhood level, The Verge noted.
“It’s something that we had, we gave it away years ago and was like, ‘Oh, here’s the thing,’ but it didn’t really work. Now technology has come a long way to make it very natural,” he said.
THE immersive view will launch in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo later this year, with more cities to come.
*Collaborated with Bruna Souza Cruz, from Tilt.