Create your own Street View
Google has revealed its latest tool which enables users to create their own Street View from anywhere in the world.
Up until now, Google has used cars and three-wheeled vehicles to capture the
360 degree images it needs for the virtual service. Using Google Maps and an Android or DSLR camera (digital single-lens reflex), users are able to connect various photos which can be navigated through once shared.
Google innovating digital maps
Google has been investing heavily in its digital maps service since the rise of the smartphone, and more so as rival Apple launched its own map service in 2012. There is a growing number of geo-location apps including FourSquare, Tinder and the Check-in option on Facebook; yet thus far Google is the only company to allow us to see virtual images of streets, cities and landscapes all over the world.
So far, Google maps has shown us the depths of the Grand Canyon, the Burj Khalifa, various regions of The Alps, but certain areas have remained unobtainable. Users will now be able to capture tricky locations while they travel, as well as documenting natural phenomena as they happen and immediately providing a 360 degree virtual image of their surrounding area.
The growing relevance of Street View
The search engine announced the tool in a blog post, stating:
"We are excited to see the different types of Street View experiences that everyone will contribute. For example, this feature can now enable environmental non-profits to document and promote the beautiful places they strive to protect.
"It also opens up a new tool for photographers to showcase diversity in a specific location - by times of day, weather conditions or cultural events - in a way that Street View currently doesn't cover."
Earlier this year, Google acquired Israeli social mapping company Waze, and also created Trekker. The modified backpack allowed the company to gather images from hard to reach locations, as well as inside iconic landmarks around the globe.
However, it has not been all good news for Street View this year, as Google came under fire when it was revealed that amongst their images of an area in California the company had mistakenly captured an image of a murdered teenager. Google has since apologised to the family of the deceased and replaced the image.
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword said: "It's always exciting when Google launches its latest technology, particularly when it is as innovative as this. Hopefully users will take advantage of this opportunity and create 360 degree images that are helpful, creative and allow the world to see something new."