Google has upgraded its Street View app on Android to allow you to capture and submit your own Street View photos with nothing more than your phone.
While the majority of Google Maps’ Street View is powered by images taken by their dedicated camera cars, Google has allowed citizens of the world to contribute their own photos to Street View… provided you had the necessary 360-degree camera equipment.
As announced on the Google Maps Blog, the dedicated Street View app on Android has been updated today to offer a new recording feature to capture images of your own neighborhood. The reason why you need to capture the images directly in the app is because recording ties into the same ARCore augmented reality tech that powers Google Maps’ Live View and things like the Pixel 5’s Mandalorian AR experience.
Once you start recording, you can simply start walking down the street and your Android phone will periodically capture stills of your trip. Or, to find Android Street View recordings submitted by others, keep an eye out in Google Maps for the Street View indicator to show dotted blue lines. According to Google, they’ve already approved some early recordings submitted from Brazil, Japan, and Nigeria. By comparison, a solid blue line indicates a Google-captured Street View.
Like Google’s own Street View footage, all submitted images will censor identifiable information such as visible faces and license plates. In addition to powering Street View, the images captured from the Android app will also be used to update other Google Maps data like business hours.
For the time being, Street View recordings can only be submitted for previously uncaptured areas in Austin, New York, and Toronto, as well as Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Nigeria. Google will open submissions from more areas soon.
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