Google Maps Street View

Google Maps finally makes it possible to improve Street View yourself with the smartphone’s photo sensor

Google Maps has a new feature: the application now allows almost anyone to contribute to Street View by simply taking pictures with the smartphone.

Google Maps Street View
Credits: Google

“When people find out I’m working on Street View the first thing they ask me is ‘would you let me drive the Street View car?’”, begins Stafford Marquardt, Head of Google Maps Street View. Before continuing: “Alas, we do not rent these iconic vehicles, but then what would happen if we allowed any car to contribute to Street View, using the smartphone exclusively ? ”.

This is precisely what Google Maps now allows on Android! The new version of Google Maps now includes an editor that allows you to very easily collect images of a street or a place, simply by using the smartphone’s photo sensor and its accelerometers. “Using our new ‘connected photos’ tool in the app, you can record a series of connected pictures as you walk down a street or path”.

Want to contribute to Street View with your smartphone? It is now possible!

There is for that only one condition: that your smartphone is compatible with ARCore. At the end of the capture, everything is automatic: Google resizes, distorts, sticks the images together and puts them on its servers so that the images in a given location are visible to everyone. Google explains: before this feature it was necessary to use a special 360 degree sensor to be able to enter images in Street View“.

And the firm to continue: “Now that everyone can create their own Street View images, we can deliver better maps to more people around the world, capture places that are not yet in Google Maps or that have experienced rapid changes. All you need is your smartphone – no complicated equipment is required ”. Google recalls that there is still “of many unexplored places [par les équipes Google Street View ndlr] in the world”.

The main challenge for Google is to deliver a more up-to-date service than potential competitors. It should be noted that Google’s hegemony in cartography is increasingly thwarted. Whether it is because of Apple’s efforts in Plans, which has greatly improved, or the launch of competing applications like Petal Maps by Huawei, which seeks at all costs to circumvent the US sanctions to which it is subject.