Google Street View: A Useful and Hidden Feature in the Google Maps

Google Street View is a useful feature accessible in Google Maps and in Google Earth that offers stunning 360 degree panoramic views from various streets in the globe. The project started in 2007 and now the Street View includes panoramic views of locations on all the seven continents in US and is also expanding to include other areas worldwide. Google Street View provides advance views of streets worldwide through Google Maps to users.

How Google Collects Views From Around the World

Google uses many devices such as car with camera to take images of locations accessible to collect the relevant data. Other methods used for data collection are:

Street View Car

Google Street View Car

A Google Street View Car is filled with a number of computers into the backside, fixed cameras, lasers and a GPS gadget on the top and driving around the world and collecting imaginaries.

Street View Trekker

Google Street View Trekker

The places where no car, trike, trolley or snowmobile can way in, the Trekker makes it possible to mark those places in Street View of Google Maps. This wearable backpack is built-in with a camera on the top and the movability of this device makes able to take images from the positions only reachable on foot.

Street View Trolley

Google Street View Trolley

In museums around the world a unique arrangement is needed that can be fit through the museums doorways and navigate easily so Googlers made street view trolley to make this happen. It has also gathered views from white house and sport stadiums along with museums.

Street View Snowmobile

Google Street View Snowmobile

In places close to mountains such as resorts where a car can’t go, Googlers made the device named as Snowmobile, which can easily go there and capture the views.

Street View Trike

Google Street View Trike

In order to reach some of the thin back streets in Europe, such as available in Barcelona and Paris, a group of engineers at Google constructed a tricycle-based camera system that is useful in getting views from these places.

Changing Photographs into Street Views

Google uses mainly Cars that drive all around and takes photographs of the locations to show in the street views. There are many elements including weather, population density to decide where and when the best images can be gathered. The signals from the sensors on the cars that help to measure GPS, speed and direction are used to check the geographic location on the Map. This is very helpful in reconstructing the car’s path and realigning the imageries as required. Cameras take overlapping pictures for avoiding gaps in panoramas and the images are stitched together into a single 360 degree image by using special image processing algorithms. This makes it possible for the street view to create smooth transitions. Car’s three lasers show off surfaces and help the Google to find the distance of a building or item that is used in producing 3D models. 3D model determines the best panorama to show users for that location.

Where is Street View Available?

Street View Available Locations

This blue overlay shows that the street view is available for a location. Users can use this feature in Google Maps and Google Earth across the web as well as mobile applications.

Using Street View

Here is one video made available by Google to help users for using street view in Google Maps.


Let us know through comments do you like Google Street View and its features?

One thought on “Google Street View: A Useful and Hidden Feature in the Google Maps

  • January 15, 2014 at 9:41 am

    That’s awesome! I didn’t know they did street view this way. Thanks for sharing.

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