Street View goes back in time: See the changes captured by Google's cameras

New feature includes imagery dating back to 2007
  • @jjvincent

Not content with sending their cameras to exotic locales such as the Grand Canyon and Galapagos Islands, Google is now letting Street View travel through time.

Okay, well, you can’t go forward of course but a new update for Street View allows users to drag a slider back and forth to see how the same scene appeared in the past.

“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,” wrote Google in a blog post.

“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. “

Although the time-travelling capability is only available before 2007 (it’s not quite as historically-minded as the Streetmuseum app that pairs images from the 19th century with present day London) it’s still an impressively broad implementation.

Google Maps have already become the de facto map of the world – easily supplanting offering from the likes of the Ordnance – but by adding historical imagery Street View is also securing its place as an instrument of public record.