As many users of Google Street View can attest, repeatedly clicking the forward and backward arrows makes for a less-than-smooth navigation experience. Today Google addressed this issue by introducing a smart navigation feature designed to make exploring Street View easier.
Google Street View will now show an oval shape as you drag your cursor around and a rectangle when you move across the facades of buildings. Google calls these shapes “pancakes.” Double click on the spot and you’ll be transported in that direction.
If you see a magnifying glass inside the pancake, double clicking will let Google know to zoom in. Hitting the “Back to the previous image” link in the upper-left address box returns you to the previous location.
Google says its new offering “allows you to do superhuman things like jump from one side of a river to another to see a faraway building” and that “by giving you a sense of depth, it makes the flat image almost feel three-dimensional!” We’re not so sure about the super human part, but it is an improvement over the arrow-only option.
Read Google’s full post below for more details on the “pancake” navigation feature or click on the Street View demo above to see it in action.
Introducing Smart Navigation in Street View [Official Google Blog]