Google Maps Takes You Back In Time With Street View Historical Imagery Collection

Google Maps has been around for a good long while now, and the search (er, maps) giant is still updating its images of the whole world in order to keep those Street View shots as current as possible. Now, with a catalog of aging photos, Google has opted to make something cool out them instead of just dumping them into the abyss of history.

“Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop”, wrote Vinay Shet, Google Street View Product Manager in a blog post. “We've gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world.”

Google Street View

If a Street View image has a little clock icon in the upper left hand corner, you can click and drag a slider to see a timeline of images.

Google Street View

Obviously, the first thing most people will do is scope out their homes (what can you do, it’s human nature), but examples Shet held up include the emergence of the Freedom Tower in New York City, the construction of the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil, and the reconstruction post-tsunami and earthquake in Onagawa, Japan.

Kudos to Google for building something useful, interesting, and potentially quite valuable out of scraps.