As a celebration of Street View’s 15th anniversary today, Google has enabled the ability to view old Street View images on mobile devices. Desktop users have had the capability since 2014, but it’s just now making its way to smartphones and tablets.
Google is introducing a new camera to improve its Street View data collection for Google Maps. As you can see in the image below, this is a new, modular system that weighs less than 15 pounds and is smaller than a house cat, according to Google. As a result of its modularity, it will be able to take and remove attachments, such as lidar scanners, as needed.
It is possible to use a mobile device to operate the new camera, which can be put on any automobile with a roof rack. Street View cameras used to require an unique automobile mount and complicated processing equipment to work properly on Google Maps.
Using a new camera, (which should really have a name, just look at it), Google will be able to expand Street View to previously under-mapped places like the Amazon rainforest.
Google said the new camera will be available early next year, in amusing Google colours.
Finally, Street View Studio will allow users to rapidly and easily post 360-degree image sequences to Google Maps in large quantities.