Street View in Google Maps is a practical function when it comes to exploring unknown areas in advance or to find your way around better. Although there are huge amounts of street view recordings, it is now easier for users to contribute their own images.
As Google announced today, they want to tap into the capabilities of modern smartphones in order to fill the numerous gaps that still exist in the data from Google Maps Street View. All you need is a smartphone with support for Google AR Core and the latest version of the Google Maps app.
So far, you could already deliver your own Street View recordings to Google, but a 360-degree camera was always required. From now on, the whole thing should also work with an Android smartphone. The new edition of the Street View app naturally uses the camera and sensors of the respective device to take a series of images of the location that the user is currently visiting.
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The data is then embedded in the right place in Google Maps and, after further processing, will be recognizable in the form of dotted lines as user-generated content and accessible to every Street View user. As usual, the images are partially processed in order to protect people’s privacy or to hide certain content. For the time being, the function for creating user-generated street view content with smartphones is only possible to a limited extent in certain regions. Users from New York, Toronto, and Austin in the USA and Canada as well as from Nigeria, Indonesia, and Costa Rica can use the new feature.
Soon they want to connect other regions so that the new possibilities of Street View should sooner or later also be available from other countries. Basically, Google wants to use the data wherever there are no images captured with their own vehicles and other Street View scanners.