Improving Google Maps Is Everyone’s Responsibility Now, Not Just Google’s

The Eiffel Tower on Google Street View 1 photo
Photo: Google
Street View is one of the key components of Google Maps, and the Mountain View-based search giant has put a lot of effort into getting it right, with its cars being sent to every little corner of this world in order to capture street-level imagery.
But it goes without saying that scanning the entire planet and then keeping the data fresh all the time is pretty much impossible, even for a company the size of Google, so the search firm has decided to embrace a completely different approach: allow users to contribute to Street View with their own imagery.

Previously, Google actually allowed users to submit their content to be published on Street View, but this required a special 360-degree camera making it possible to capture look-around media that could then be published online.

But thanks to this new update, you can just contribute to Street View using nothing else than your mobile phone, all without the need for any special hardware.

With our updated Street View app on Android, it’s now easier than ever to collect your own Street View imagery and put it in the right place on Google Maps. These images are captured using ARCore, the same augmented reality technology we use to produce experiences like Live View. After you record your images and publish them via the Street View app, we automatically rotate, position and create a series of connected photos. We then place those connected images in the right place on Google Maps, so your new Street View can be found in the exact location where it was taken for others to see and explore,” Google explains.

What this means is that Street View will soon provide street-level imagery from even more regions, and these include not only roads but also places where people can barely reach by foot.

Certainly, this will expand the exploration side of Google Maps even more, and Google says users owning an ARCore-compatible Android device in Toronto, Canada, New York, NY and Austin, TX, as well as Nigeria, Indonesia, and Costa Rica, can already contribute to Street View.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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