23 April 2014

Google Street View’s ‘Time Machine’ Feature Lets You Travel Back In Time

Click on the clock icon and move the slider to see how specific locations looked like at different moments in time. Shown here is the construction of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the completed building

Google has unveiled a new ‘Time Machine’ feature for Street View that lets you travel back in time to see how specific locations have changed.

The feature began rolling out yesterday and will be available for the desktop version of Maps. It is represented by a new clock icon in the upper left-hand corner of a Street View image.

Click on the icon, move a slider and select different thumbnails to see how a specific site looked like at a particular moment in time.

Google gathered images from its past Street View collections dating back as far as 2007, and hopes this new feature will serve as a digital timeline of history, such as the rebuilding after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

It would also enable users to visualize “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” as well as “experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter,” said Google Street View Product Manager Vinay Shet in a blog post.

Check out a couple of examples below. What do you think of Google’s new time traveling feature?

Construction of the Freedom Tower, New York City

Destruction in Onagawa, Japan, after the 2011 earthquake

[via Mashable, images via Official Google Blog]