Google Maps is one of the most popular features that Google provides and is used on computers, tablets and mobile phones across the world. Using Google Maps is easy to navigate, provides a clear vision of a variety of locations, and is often the preferred option over using traditional maps.
When using the search function on Google Maps, there are several options that will provide more information on particular areas. These provide users with a deeper understanding of a location such as local weather, terrain, live webcams and up to date images, which traditional maps don’t provide.
One of the most interesting functions is Street View, which is symbolised by the ‘pegman’ symbol. It can be found on the left hand side, and can be picked up and dropped onto any blue outlined street within the map. Once the ‘pegman’ has been dropped, the view changes from a map, to street view images.
So what is Google Street View?
Google Street View displays panoramas of stitched images, which have been captured by a fleet of specially adapted cars. These cars are used throughout the world and the images produced allow users to explore the world as they would if they were there. As the cameras provide panoramic views, it allows the user to not only look right and left, but also upwards and even turn around. The experience is the closest users can get to a location, without actually physically being there.
For areas that are slightly harder to reach, Google Trikes are used. The trikes are specially modified and can access more than just the main roads such as pedestrian areas, narrow streets, alleys and recently even rivers. Even locations that are prone to heavy snow, such as ski resorts, are now available on Google Street View, thanks to Google Snowmobiles.
Most recently, Google has expanded their reach by exploring areas such as The Amazon. As the Google Street View cars can struggle to access certain areas of the rainforest, the trikes have been used to capture spectacular views of the forest. In order to allow users to explore the Amazon river, the Google Trikes have been mounted onto boats, and ultimately provides the complete Amazon experience, from the comfort of your own home.