Google has taken a look at the milestones it has made with its mapping services. Among plenty of feats to shout about, the tech giant has captured more than 10 million miles of imagery with Street View.
Altogether, this distance would be able to circle the globe over 400 times. The 360° panoramic mapping tool has come a long way since its introduction in May 2007. Google has managed to cover popular commuter routes all the way to underpopulated communes within all four corners of the map.
What’s the process?
According to a press release by Google, it hasn’t been an easy task to cover this ground. Fleets of Street View vehicles have been deployed for over a decade to capture these images. They all hold nine cameras that capture high-definition photos from every angle that is possible.
These cameras have been specifically chosen for their abilities to withstand extreme conditions. They are athermal, therefore they can cope with scorching heat in desert areas such as Death Valley. Furthermore, each car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors. These use laser beams to measure distance effectively.
For areas that can’t be accessed by vehicles, Google uses the Street View trekker. These are carried by animals such as sheep and camels to cover hard to reach areas. Boats and scout trips are also used to gather high-quality imagery. After collecting the images, the firm uses photogrammetry to align and stitch them together.
There has been great progress made with Street View in more recent times. Within the last year, Google has managed to assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings. These have been in under-mapped regions such as Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe. This will no doubt help with social and economic development in these areas.
The Maps service is continuing to grow heading into 2020. It recently introduced Live View, which enables users to use augmented reality (AR) to have a better understanding of which way to travel. Here, arrows and directions are placed over what’s in front of a user to guide them.
Google Earth has also seen huge success over the last decade. It has covered more than 36 million square miles of the land with high definition satellite images.
Combining all the mapping tools available with Google, society has the privilege to live in an age where navigation can be so easy. Just over a decade ago, the majority of the population was still using physical road maps to plan their journeys.
Now, we have a great chance to develop even further on the technology that has been created. This will enable us to be even better connected in the next decade.
What are your thoughts on the progress made by Google Street View? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.