A new feature launched few days back allows users to scroll back through historic images and see how familiar views changed through time
Google’s Street View service now allows users to scroll back through time to see how certain views appeared in the past.
Since it was launched in 2007 Street View has allowed people to see images taken by special camera cars on roads and paths around the country. These images are periodically updated as and when the cars pass back over a previously covered area. But from today users will be able to scroll back through historic images taken from any point.
In a post on the official Google blog, Google Street View product manager Vinay Shet said: “If you’ve ever dreamt of being a time traveller like Doc Brown, now’s your chance.
“Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop. We’ve gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world.
“Now with Street View, you can see a landmark’s growth from the ground up, like the Freedom Tower in New York city or the 2014 World Cup stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil.
“This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history, like the reconstruction after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan. You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter.”
When using Street View people will see a clock icon which, when clicked, allows them to scroll back through historic images. The oldest currently available date back to the service’s launch in 2007, but in future all data will be kept and help to gradually build up an extensive archive.