Google Maps' 'time travel' Street View feature comes to smartphones

·2-min read
Stonehenge, Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium and Big Ben are among Google Street View's most searched places. Credit: Google Street View
Stonehenge, Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium and Big Ben are among Google Street View's most searched places. Credit: Google Street View

You can now travel back in time with Google Maps' 'time travel' Street View feature.

Smartphone users will now be able to look back at historical photos of locations on their mobile for the first time.

Street View is Google's 360-degree photo-based map of the world which features images captured from cameras mounted onto vehicles and even backpacks.

Found within Google Maps, the expansion of the Street View feature marks its 15th birthday.

HeraldScotland: A person using their phone. Credit: Canva
HeraldScotland: A person using their phone. Credit: Canva

A person using their phone. Credit: Canva

Currently, only desktop users of Street View can access any available historical images of a location.

They can look at a landmark or the street where they live from when Street View launched in 2007.

This feature is now being extended to iOS and Android smartphones.

How to use Google Street View 'time travel' feature on your phone

“Street View is all about capturing the world as it changes, and it’s also a powerful way to reminisce about the past,” Ethan Russell, senior director of product management for Google Maps, said.

“Starting today on Android and iOS globally, it’s now easier than ever to travel back in time right from your phone.

Mr Russell explained that when you’re viewing Street View imagery of a place, you can tap anywhere on the photo to see information about the spot.

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Under the feature, you simply tap ‘See more dates’ to see the historical imagery available, dating back to when Google launched Street View in 2007.

The fascinating tool will allow you to browse each of the images, creating a "a digital time capsule that shows how a place has changed.”

Google Street View's most searched places

As part of its birthday celebrations, Google also revealed the most searched for locations on Street View in the UK.

Unsurprisingly, Big Ben tops the list ahead of Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium and Buckingham Palace.

Stonehenge and the British Museum complete the top five ranking.

Meanwhile, London Bridge, the Folkestone White Horse, the London Eye, the University of Oxford and Wembley stadium also make the top ten.

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