Google Maps takes it to the streets
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Google launched a new feature on its mapping service on
Tuesday that allows people to see panoramic views of streets and buildings.
Google Maps now offers a 360-degree view of many streets in
the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Las Vegas, Denver and Miami, with other
cities to roll out later, John Hanke, director of Google Maps and Google Earth,
said in a session at the Where 2.0 Conference here.
If the street-level view feature is available, a button will show up on the
maps page for the location entered. Clicking on it brings up a window with the
view and directional arrows that can be clicked on to proceed in that direction.
The window can be made full screen as well, and users can zoom in on street
signs, bus stops and other details in the Bay Area. In the company's first foray
into image gathering for maps, Google workers drove vans around the Bay Area for
about a year and took pictures for the service, a Google spokeswoman said.
Google partnered with Immersive Media for the images in the other cities, she
Google also launched Mapplets, a tool that enables developers to create mini
applications to be displayed on Google Maps. Developers can combine information
such as real estate listings and crime data with distance measurement and other
tools to create their own embeddable mashups directly on the Google Maps site.
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