Google Street View’s “time travel” feature is added to smartphones for the first time, allowing users to view historical photos of places on their phones. Street View is the tech giant’s photo-based 360-degree world map, featuring images captured by cameras mounted on vehicles and even backpacks, and can be found on Google Maps
Currently only users of the desktop version of Street View can access all available historical images of a place – for example a landmark or the street they live on, dating back to Street View’s launch in 2007, but this feature will now extended to iOS and Android smartphones. The announcement comes to mark the 15th anniversary of the Street View feature.
“Street View is about capturing the changing world, and it’s also a powerful way to remember the past,” said Ethan Russell, senior director of product management for Google Maps. “Starting worldwide today on Android and iOS, it’s easier than ever to go back in time right from your phone.
“How it works: When viewing Street View images of a place, tap anywhere on the photo to see information about the place. Then tap View More Data to view the historical images we’ve published of that location, dating back to the launch of Street View in 2007.
“Search each of the images to see a digital time capsule showing how a place has changed.”
As part of the birthday celebrations, Google also revealed the most searched places on Street View in the UK, with Big Ben topping the list ahead of Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium and Buckingham Palace.
Stonehenge and the British Museum completed the top 5, while London Bridge, the Folkestone White Horse, the London Eye, the University of Oxford and Wembley Stadium also made the top 10.