Though primarily known for Internet search, Google has pioneered multiple ways of making our own world more “searchable” and explorable.
One of these major initiatives is the famous “Street View” app that gives users a ground-level perspective from many global cities. Developed using camera captures that went up and down recording everything, the project was impressive not only for its results but also for its scale.
Now you can help Google augment their knowledge of local streets with your Android smartphone.
Google’s blog explains:
“With our updated Street View app on Android, it’s now easier than ever to collect your own Street View imagery and put it in the right place on Google Maps. Using our new connected photos tool in the app, you can record a series of connected images as you move down a street or path.
These images are captured using ARCore, the same augmented reality technology we use to produce experiences like Live View. After you record your images and publish them via the Street View app, we automatically rotate, position and create a series of connected photos. We then place those connected images in the right place on Google Maps, so your new Street View can be found in the exact location where it was taken for others to see and explore.”
Though it isn’t the iconic street view car that some of us know about, it is the next best thing. And it also has the added benefit of making Google’s maps that much more robust at the end of the day.
Google points out that, prior to this development, you had to have a 360-degree camera in order to take street view captures.
They also plan on making a distinction between street view photos the company has captured versus those of Android users.
“Where people contribute connected photos, they will appear in the Street View layer on Google Maps as dotted blue lines—simply drag Pegman around to find them. Where we have existing Google Street View imagery, we’ll show that as the primary Street View experience with a solid blue line. While it’s still early days for this beta feature, there are already examples of people adding their own connected photos—from Nigeria to Japan and Brazil.”
What do you think of Android users being able to take Google Street View photos? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below.
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