One of the first announcements made at Google I/O 2022 were improvements made to Google Maps. Regarded as the go-to app for finding your way around the world, Google Maps will now be upgraded to include a new ‘immersive view’ of select cities, along with the ability to use Live View’s AR in third-party apps.
What Is Immersive View?
Through its collection of heaps and heaps of data, Google is merging Street View and aerial shots together to create ‘immersive view,’ creating a ‘rich, digital model of the world.’ This view combines picturesque views of a city and its landmarks, along with suggestions of places to learn about or visit. The new feature also provides an inside view of some buildings, with the ability to alternate the views of specific areas, such as what they look like at nighttime, in bad weather, or in busy timings.
This immersive view will be displayed with the usual helpful features such as traffic indicators and more. The feature is arriving for phones and devices of all sorts. Unfortunately, the only limitation is the number of cities that can be viewed in this manner, which are Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo. Of course, more cities will be added in the future, but for now, this is what you are getting.
Improvements Made to AR-Powered Live View
Google Maps’ AR-powered Live View has served users in finding landmarks and navigating precisely where they need to be or go. With today’s announcement, Google is opening up the possibilities of Live View to more apps through the new ARCore Geospatial API, with the company providing an example below.
“Say you’re planning a trip to London and want to figure out the best sights to see and places to eat. With a quick search, you can virtually soar over Westminster to see the neighborhood and stunning architecture of places, like Big Ben, up close. With Google Maps’ helpful information layered on top, you can use the time slider to check out what the area looks like at different times of day and in various weather conditions, and see where the busy spots are. Looking for a spot for lunch? Glide down to street level to explore nearby restaurants and see helpful information, like live busyness and nearby traffic. You can even look inside them to quickly get a feel for the vibe of the place before you book your reservation.
The best part? Immersive view will work on just about any phone and device. It starts rolling out in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo later this year with more cities coming soon.”
Live View technology is available to ARCore developers around the globe, and some apps will begin using these APIs to create new experiences. For instance, in some cities, you can use your smartphone’s camera to reveal where you have found safe and responsible parking. This example is just the beginning, and as more features are added to the mix, the experience will likely improve with time.