Want to know what your street looked like two years ago before any work was done on it? Now you can, Google's Street View now gives users the opportunity to travel through time in order to have views of old look of an area. The company says that users online will be able to scroll through different historical images that had been taken by the cars that passed through areas filming.
The opportunity to view streets from historic moments in the past is welcome news for users, who have long wanted to be able to see what their street, or house, looked like before they may have moved in. Now they can, in a sort of "time travel" idea that delivers even greater functionality to the Street View service.
"Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop," Google says in a press statement on its blog. "We've gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world."
The concept is rather simple. Users can get online and pinpoint a street or area they want. By scrolling through a timeline of images, they can potentially see a building being erected or a park being established. It's a surreal experience that Google hopes will continue to push interest in the site.
It can also be used to view the before and after of a natural disaster, says the company.
"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," say Google.
While Google Maps was created in order to help users find directions and different routes to locations they wanted to go to, it has since become an almost online tourism site where users from across the globe access the Street View in order to see what is happening in locations far removed from their current spot.
Google even promoted the time lapse by alluding to Doc Brown in the classic Back to the Future films as it announced the "time travel" addition to the site.