Google launches Immersive View for Maps, and it’s glorious


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You know Google Maps. The app that’s been around for years, letting you live out fantasies of visiting Stonehenge or the London Eye as if you were on the street next to them. Well, earlier this week, Google launched an even better way of viewing the world, known as ‘Immersive View’. It’s actually quite magnificent.

Think of the Street View you’re used to, but up in the sky. Using Immersive View, you can scout out big cities around the world, with Maps using its own traffic and weather data to create a realistic view of the cities.
If you don’t believe us, check out the video from CNET below:

Google isn’t just for getting from one place to another anymore. It’s become a hub for people seeking recommendations, looking for prices, or just wanting to see the world through their screens. Immersive View seems like it could provide all that, and more.

Immersed in Reality

Google Maps

With Immersive View, it will feel like you are there. Using real data, Google is able to add cars, birds, and even real-time weather. Of course, these are all simulated, but that doesn’t matter. You can get a sense of how busy an area is, or how the weather is looking before you begin your travels. The sun even moves in real-time, and gives the water real reflections, even as you move around the sky. And possibly most important – the London Eye spins around!

It’s also possible to enter certain businesses on Immersive View. Google combines data sets from Google Maps, Google Earth, and Street View to achieve this. This will be… pretty limited, at least during the beginning of Immersive View’s life. As more data is fed through Google, more excursions will become available for the public through Google Maps.

Immersive View works by using a series of satellites, combined with Street View shots, to create a computer-generated image of whatever you look at. “We’re able to fuse those together, so that we can actually understand, okay, these are the heights of the buildings,” says Liz Reid, a VP of engineering at Google.

Well, the company did a great job.

For now, Immersive View will only be available for a few major cities, with more being added. London is already available to view… for some. Cities like Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, and San Francisco will be next to get the Immersive View treatment. More cities will turn up throughout the year, says Google. Let’s just hope South African cities get some attention from Google soon. That would be something to see.

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