Posted:
For all the Street View fans out there: exploring the world just got even easier. Today we are introducing the new Street View app for Android and iOS, which allows you for the first time, to tour immersive 360-degree imagery and instantly contribute your own — right to Google Maps. Find a great hiking trail, check out restaurant and hotel interiors, and snap and share your own photo spheres (360-degree panoramas) to Google Maps for others to explore and enjoy. All in one place.
 
The new Street View app for Android (left) and iOS (right)


Explore
In one gallery, you can explore Street View collections and content from Google Maps alongside photo spheres contributed from people around the globe. So whether you want to track the Loch Ness monster in Scotland, scale the famed rock wall El Capitan in Yosemite, or hike Mt. Fuji, the Street View app has you covered.


2.png   4.png
Explore Google Maps and user galleries in the Street View app


Contribute
Now you can publish photo spheres of your favorite places from around the world (or around the block!) to Google Maps instantly. The Street View app allows you to shoot photo spheres directly from your Android phone or iPhone or connect to spherical cameras like the Ricoh Theta S, or NCTech iris360.


iSV-3.jpg   iSV-4.jpg
Publish photo spheres directly to Google Maps in the Street View app


Starting today, the Street View app will replace the Photo Sphere Camera app for iPhones and the Street View from Google Maps app on Android phones. It is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

Posted by Charles Armstrong, Product Manager at Google Maps

Posted:
Whether you’re a tourist looking for a casual dinner or a local trying to find a new neighborhood watering hole, Google Maps for mobile provides the most detailed and useful information so you can make the best decision on where to go. Starting today in Google Maps for Android in the US and UK, you’ll be able to uncover the best your city has to offer with our updated explore feature. And in NYC, San Francisco and London, you’ll enjoy curated recommendations from Google Maps. Now you can discover what is unique (and delicious!) about the neighborhood you’re in -- whether it’s pre-theater dining in the Theater District in NYC, Dolores Park picnic fare in the Mission in San Francisco or centuries-old pubs in The City in London.

Having the best local guide is great, but what’s better: having the best local guide for you. To do that, you’ve got to know where you’re going, the time of day for your meal, and what vibe you want. After all, the best spot for a quick bite alone may not be your top pick for a dinner with friends. With today’s Google Maps update, no matter the occasion — think Lunch nearby right now or Best spots for dinner with kids this weekend you can be confident that Google Maps has you covered.

Screenshot_2015-08-26-21-49-35.png     Screenshot_2015-09-02-07-54-25.png

Once you pick the category that suits your craving, you can see in-depth details about each location. Swipe through photos, get details (family-friendly? quick bite?), and check out ratings and reviews from Google and other diners. And for select spots, you also discover why it may be particularly relevant to you: for example, Google Maps may recommend a place that’s popular with other diners who visited a place you’ve been to in the past.  

Screenshot_2015-09-02-09-03-20.png     Screenshot_2015-09-01-15-34-23 (1).png

While Google Maps may offer a suggested list, such as lunch or dinner based on your location and time of day, sometimes a change of scenery is in order! Never fear, all options for nearby neighborhoods, categories and cuisines are all just one tap away. And if you don’t find the perfect place at first glance, you can choose to load more places from the area, expand the area or switch to a different category.

Now enjoy, and eat up!

Posted by Murali Viswanathan, Senior Product Manager

Posted:
The giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands have been stalwart survivors for centuries, but the last few hundred years have been rough. Once so numerous that sixteenth century explorers actually named the archipelago “galápago” for the old Spanish word for tortoise, the rats and hungry sailors that followed them caused the tortoises’ numbers to dwindle almost to extinction. Today, thanks to the establishment of tortoise breeding centers and invasive species eradication programs carried out by the Government of Ecuador, the Directorate of the Galápagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation, the giant tortoise is back. And now, you can follow the giant tortoises all around the Galápagos with Street View in Google Maps.

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 2.31.00 PM.png

In 2013, we partnered with the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galápagos National Park to collect 360-degree imagery of the landscapes and wildlife of the Galápagos. Last year, we extended our partnership to our loan program and sent the Street View Trekker back to the Galápagos Islands so that our partners could collect more imagery to support ongoing conservation and scientific studies. Thanks to the conservation effort that saved them, you can now view the tortoises in their natural habitats on islands like Pinzón and Isabela, happily traversing the wild terrain or just enjoying a morning meal.

IMG_9250.jpg
The Street View Trekker collecting imagery along a lava shoreline

Similar to Charles Darwin’s exploration in 1835 that inspired his theory of evolution, scientists and park managers continue to study and protect these majestic creatures. Most people think of tortoises as very sedentary animals, but in fact, they’re frequently on the move. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology allows observers to track the movements of giant tortoises across the different islands. For example, the data shows that on Alcedo volcano, the tortoises undergo long distance, annual migrations related to the seasons and availability of water.


To explore more of the sites from today’s Galápagos release, or imagery from our previous trip in 2013, take a look at the Galápagos Street View Gallery. And remember: you’re with the tortoises, not the hares, so take your time and enjoy!

Posted by Raleigh Seamster, Program Manager for Google Earth Outreach

Posted:
The Adventure Crafts Glassmart in Kibera, Kenya, has the address: Stall No. 164, Makina Stalls, Kibera Drive, Located close to the Toi Market. There is no traditional address system in Kibera, so no easy number-and-street identifier. Nothing easy to plug into your phone. So, say you wanted to visit the shop: How would you go about finding it?

Last April we released a new system to help provide an address for every location in the world, called Open Location Code (OLC, also known as “plus codes”). Today, plus codes are now searchable on Google and Google Maps. Plus codes are a useful way of representing locations that don’t have specific street addresses. But it’s not just in less developed places like Kibera.  For example, an area the size of a few beach blankets on Atlantic Beach would have the plus code 87G8H7P8+FH. If you’re hoping to tell some friends where to meet you on the beach -- and they are near Atlantic Beach or looking up the specific location in Google Maps while zooming in over it -- you can give them just the last four digits “P8+FH” to help them find you. You can find the plus code for your location at http://plus.codes.
Using plus codes to locate friends at the beach is one example, but these codes become extremely helpful in places with high population density but poor data accuracy or coverage, or those that lack a specific addressing system altogether. Kathmandu, Nepal, has a population of around 1 million people, but most roads have no names and houses have no street numbers. Being able to precisely navigate without local knowledge is difficult. Plus codes will now let you easily specify your destination.
7MV7P8R9+W2, or P8R9+W2 if you or your viewport are already in Kathmandu.

These codes can help many different people, in many parts of the world: Small businesses rely on customers being able to find them. Crisis response organizations rely on accurate location information--often long distances from established roads and buildings--to provide aid and save lives.  
As we continue to make Maps as accurate and comprehensive as possible, we hope plus codes become a useful way to pinpoint the places that might be harder to find -- whether you’re looking for your friends’ beach towels, or some glassware in Kenya.

Rasťo Šrámek, Software Engineer, Google Maps

Posted:
With more than 250 sunny days a year (that’s about 100 more than you’d get in bright Portland), Mongolia is known by many as the "land of the eternal blue sky.” Now you can take in some of these beautiful Mongolian blues with new Street View imagery, which takes you across 5,000km of the country’s steppes, deserts, icy lakes and rushing rivers.

Last fall we strapped a Street View camera onto a four-wheel drive pickup truck to begin capturing 360-imagery from rugged Mongolian roads. Since then we’ve also gone off-road to capture images of the country’s most beautiful places with Ariuntuul, our Mongolian Trekker operator, who carried the 18-kg Street View Trekker into the wild expanses of Mongolia’s diverse countryside.

Say hi or “Сайн байна уу” to our Mongolian Trekker operator, Ari

Take a tour of the placid frozen blues of Khuvsgul Lake, onto the Eastern Highway for a look at Mongolia’s winter sunshine, over rainbows painted across the Selenga River, across the vast and clouded horizon over the Gobi desert, and even towards the gers on the outskirts of the rapidly growing capital city, Ulaanbaatar.

.

Sled across the Khuvsgul Lake, the second largest freshwater lake in Asia, with Street View

Experience the winter sunset from Mongolia’s Eastern Highway

Spot the rainbow over the shadow of our Street View truck near Selenga River

Sand, sky and clouds as far as you can see near Tsogt-Ovoo

A glimpse at the round rooftops of Ulaanbaatar

Although adventurers will spend weeks exploring the hidden treasures of Mongolia, you can now join us on a whirlwind tour in just a few clicks. Until then…have a nice journey, on Street View and beyond!

Posted by Cynthia Wei, Street View Program Manager, Google Maps