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Google courts user contributions to Street View maps

by Mark Tyson on 10 December 2013, 16:15

Tags: Maps Navigation

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Google has recently updated its Street View features to allow users to add and create their own Street View experiences. The new tool allows users to create a Street View of any place they like and share it using Google Maps by using photos taken by an Android phone or digital camera. Users will be able to connect various photos with photo sphere and navigate between them on Google Maps once their 360º virtual tour is published.

Aside from capturing places the Street View camera can’t go, this will also allow users to document varying weather conditions or events at a specific location. "Whether you’re photographing exotic islands or your favourite neighbourhood hangout, mountain peaks or city streets, historic castles or your own business, we’re thrilled to see the places you love coming to life on Google Maps," said Evan Rapoport in Google’s blog post.

Google also claims that the new feature will open up many possibilities including projects such as; helping environmental non-profit organisations to record and promote the beautiful places they strive to protect, a new tool for photographers to showcase the diversity of a specific scene, or even virtual tours for businesses to attract potential customers.

National Geographic to open cartography archive to Google Maps Engine

In related mapping news reports are that the National Geographic will be sharing over 500 of its specialist maps with the public via participation in the Google Maps Engine public data program. This will allow curious navigators to browse the Nat Geo archive, including historic, travel and reference maps laid over current Google Maps. (see an example below)

Frank Biasi, Director of Digital Development at National Geographic Map believes that "The public data program gives us the opportunity to release our amazing map collection to the wider world," and that his team "will also use Maps Engine to overlay our maps with interactive editorial content, so the maps can 'tell stories' and raise awareness about environmental issues and historic events."

Wired also reports that plans are in place to sell and license some high-res versions of National Geographic’s maps in order to raise funds for its not-for-profit missions.

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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It's all very well Google introducing new features to Google Maps, but they still haven't fixed what they broke last July.
Street View is now rubbish, compared to how it was before the Update to Google Maps version 7.
Yes, you can rollback the update in Jelly Bean, but you are stuffed if you update to KitKat there's no going back, unless you want to root your phone.
My three year old HTC Desire, with Ice Cream Sandwich, gives a better maps experience than my Nexus 4, which I foolishly allowed to upgrade to KitKat.
Come on Google, please listen to your customers or are you turning into Microsoft?
The PC version is pretty rubbish since the last update too.

First of all is the annoying lag of a 4 or 5 seconds before you can do anything -even type in the search box- when you first open google maps in a tab.

Then there are a whole load of annoying user-friendliness issues, all that have been caused by their attempt at unifying the PC version with the touch screen version: Right-clicking functionality has mostly been removed, there are problems with click-and-dragging map markers and routes, as well as other problems with certain features being moved to less intuitive locations. One of the most annoying things is when you click to select a location, doing any movement of the map deselects it again.
It's all very well Google introducing new features to Google Maps, but they still haven't fixed what they broke last July.
Street View is now rubbish, compared to how it was before the Update to Google Maps version 7.
Totally agree. I'm using JellyBaby on my HTC Desire Z, updated to v7 for one day was fortunately able to flash the old apk and move back.
I now use an app called AppWererabbit Backup & Restore by Hairy Robot. It backs up your apps allowing you to keep different versions, so that if an update messes up your app you can always restore to a previous version. Not sure if you need to be rooted tho'.
The whole of the interior of John Lewis' flagship department store is now on Street View. - link - http://crave.cnet.co.uk/gadgets/have-a-nose-round-john-lewis-flagship-store-on-street-view-50012997/