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street view: Google unveils new portable camera, smartphone update for Maps’ Street View feature

street view: Google unveils new portable camera, smartphone update for Maps’ Street View feature

Google Maps’ Street View is celebrating its 15th anniversary and on the occasion, Google has introduced two new upgrades, one of which is the arrival of the Street View imagery on Android and iOS apps. Until now, only the desktop version of Google Maps allowed users to view Street View imagery and see how a place has changed over the years. Now, with the update, users would be able to experience the same on their smartphone via the Android and iOS apps of the service.
To see how the feature update works, you have to open the Street View mode and tap anywhere on the screen. Now, choose the ‘See more dates’ option which will open the location’s historical imagery and as per Google’s claims, the imagery going back to even 2007 will be shown for select places, letting users see how a place has changed over time.
Portable camera
The other update is the launch of a new portable camera which Google thinks would aid in capturing Street View imagery in future and help update the Street View more frequently. The camera is a 360-degree one and could be attached to “any vehicle with a roof rack and operated right from a mobile device — no need for a specialized car or complex processing equipment.”
In this way. Google won’t be limited to using dedicated cars and camera-equipped backpacks (‘Trekkers’) for the camera module.
“Previously, we needed to create an entirely new camera system whenever we wanted to collect different types of imagery. But now, we can add on to this modular camera with components like lidar — laser scanners — to collect imagery with even more helpful details, like lane markings or potholes. We can add these features when we need them, and remove them when we don’t.”, added Google in a blog post.
The portable camera weighs around 6.8kgs and is scheduled for a 2023 rollout.

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