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Google Street View

Friday, June 15th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
I use Google Maps on a regular basis and the other day, I saw a new feature there called Street View. Do you know anything about that? If so, can you please explain it to me?

A:
Oh, my goodness, I am so glad you asked this question! This is another brand new feature from Google and I actually just heard about it the other day too. There was a mention of it on our message board and after I saw that, I just had to check it out for myself. And let me tell you, it is so cool! I just know all of you are going to think the same thing once you try it out. So, let’s waste no more time and get right down to business!

First of all, you can get to the Street View area by going to Google Maps here. You have to go through Google Maps to get there. Once you’re there, right at the top of the page, you’ll see where it says “New! Street View: Explore neighborhoods virtually.” Under that, there’s a link that says “See a demo.” If you click on that, you can watch a little video that Google put together for Street View. It’s actually pretty funny and very informative at the same time!

There are several different things you can do with Street View, such as view street level photographs of select cities, take virtual walks, explore cityscapes, landmarks and other points of interest and find shops, restaurants, hotels and more. And that’s just to name a few! All of the street images are shown to you in 360 degrees, so you’re able to see everything. You won’t miss anything with this one! So, how can you get started? Well, keep reading to find out!

First, you have to navigate to a location of your choice. You can do that by starting fresh with a map in Google Maps. Just double click on the state you want to explore, then the city and so on. If a street view is available for your chosen location, the Street View button will always be listed at the top of your map. If there’s not one available, you unfortunately won’t be able to get in any closer. Once you see the Street View button, click on it. The roads that are available for you to look at will have a blue border around them.

After you have zoomed in pretty far, a camera icon will pop up on your map. If you see that camera, it means that you can keep zooming in until you see the individual streets on your map. After that, a human icon will appear on your map. If you click that, you will be able to see a street view for your location. An information box will also appear and it will include any street level images that you are able to look at. You will also see a green arrow and that indicates which direction you’re facing. If you want to go in a different direction, you can use the four shown arrows to do so.

If you want to keep zooming in on a certain image, etc., just keep double clicking your mouse. That can take you into your map pretty far. Or if you want to go back to a previous view for any reason, you can click the Zoom Out button to get there. Now, once you’re in your street view, you can navigate along the streets with the white arrows that go around your map. You can also still use the other arrows to change your direction. If there’s additional information about the streets you’re viewing, an information display box will appear for you. The street names will be included in that as well. If you want to move on to another street once you’re finished viewing one, you can do so once you reach the center of an intersection.

Now, I know all of that probably sounds pretty interesting, but maybe just a little confusing too. If you are still a little fuzzy as to what Street View actually is, don’t worry. This is one of those things that requires some experimentation. All I ask is that you go to Google Maps and check it out. Once you get into the street view of your map, you can see so much and learn about different areas of the country as well. I think once you mess around with it a little, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Give it a try. You just might like it!

~ Erin

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