This New Google Maps View Puts You in the Middle of Your Favourite City

This New Google Maps View Puts You in the Middle of Your Favourite City

Google Maps is a lot more than a GPS app these days. Sure, it’ll help you navigate your commute, but you can also use it to learn about and virtually explore any city in the world. Google is building on that idea with its latest feature, Immersive View, allowing you to digitally explore a city like never before.

Immersive View is the ultimate intersection of Google Earth and Street View. The new Google Maps view uses billions of Street View and satellite images to build richly detailed virtual representations of cities. You can fly over streets and buildings with a greater realism than previously available in Google Maps’ satellite view. A time slider allows you to see the city at different points throughout the day, as well as simulate what different weather conditions might be like.

But it’s not just for exploring city streets — Immersive View also has an Indoor Live View, which is like Street View for notable restaurants and other attractions in the city.

As someone who spends a lot of time on Google Maps, I’m into it. If I’m planning a trip to San Francisco, I can scope the entire city, check out recommended neighbourhoods, gauge walking conditions from destination to destination, and generally learn more about the area before I visit. I’m especially intrigued by the concept of using Immersive View to figure out where I might find parking ahead of time. I’m a public transit guy, but when I drive, especially in a city like New York, I want to know what my parking options are before I’m navigating a maze of one-way streets. Immersive View should let me check out the area I’m visiting to find likely street parking locations, and stake out nearby garages as a backup.

Google originally announced this feature in September, and has since added Immersive Views for Tokyo Tower and the Acropolis of Athens. But as of this article, the feature is officially available on Google Maps for iPhone and Android. According to The Verge, Google will bring Immersive View to desktop soon. The feature is quite limited at launch, starting with only five cities: London, Los Angeles, New York, San Fransisco, and Tokyo. However, Google will be adding Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, and Venice to the mix soon, with more to come in the future.

How to use Immersive View in Google Maps

To use Immersive View when it hits Google Maps on your device, start by searching the city you intend to view. When you do, you’ll see a new Immersive View card in the city’s detail page. Now, just tap it to start your journey through New York, Los Angeles, London, San Fran, or Tokyo.


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