Google has announced that it's now offering historical imagery of European cities taken during World War II onto Google Earth, and that users can compare the pictures directly to images of those cities today.

A number of towns are covered, including Stuttgart, Naples, Lyons and Warsaw. To access the images, make sure you have the latest version of Google Earth, scroll to a city, and then click the clock icon along the top and move the slider back to 1943.

Meanwhile, rumours on US blog Search Engine Land suggest that Google has been prowling around shops with cameras with the intent of taking pictures of the inside of stores for a new feature called "Google Store Views". It'll allow people using Street View to click the door of a shop to go inside and take a look around.

Google's response to inquiries about these feature? "We are always experimenting with new features for Google Maps. We have nothing further to announce at this time". We'll keep you posted on that.