Google Maps presents Immersive View, a mix of Earth and Street View

This Wednesday, May 11, the Google I/O developer conference was held, during which the Mountain View company presented several new features on several of these products, and in particular a new immersive mode in Google Maps.

Discover a place before setting foot there

Over the years, Google Maps has transformed to become much more than just a GPS application. Now able to indicate if the metro is crowded or even prioritize ecological routesit will also have a new mode presented by Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, which this time goes beyond everything that has been seen on the application so far.

Created using artificial intelligence, and combining the billions of images available from Google Earth and Google Street View, Immersive View makes it possible to ” discover a neighborhood, a landmark, a restaurant or a popular place, and even feel like you are there before you even set foot there “explains Google in a blog post. For example, if you want to go to a restaurant or a tourist spot, you can go to Google Maps and activate this mode to see if people are there, the time done, etc :

“Let’s say you’re planning a trip to London and want to know what are the best sights to see and the best places to eat. By doing a quick search, you can virtually fly over Westminster to get an up-close look at the neighborhood and the stunning architecture of places, like Big Ben. With helpful information from Google Maps, you can use the time slider to see what the neighborhood looks like at different times of the day and in different weather conditions, and see where the busiest places are.”

The magic of neighborhood-scale Google Earth zooming

All Immersive View images are computer generated; these are combinations of Google Earth satellite captures and Street View snapshots. Liz Reid, Vice President of Engineering at Googleexplains that the feature offers the zoom magic of Google Earth, but at the scale of a neighborhood.

It is true that Immersive View is an impressive tool: simulated cars drive on the roads and birds fly in the sky, cloud shadows are visible on the ground while the weather is simulated live. Google specifies that the mode will soon be available on all types of devices, but will initially only be accessible for the cities of Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo.

Immersive View demonstration in London.

Immersive View lets you see a place and see what’s going on there before you can get there. Image: Google

The feature offers us a glimpse of the immense potential of Google Maps, which continues to grow. With the improvement of augmented reality, there is no doubt that the experiences offered by Mountain View will be more and more immersive.

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Google Maps presents Immersive View, a mix of Earth and Street View


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