Google Street View has added a new feature that lets you rewind time and reminisce, sans the DeLorean.
Street View, the 7-year-old Google service within Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views from streets around the globe, has compiled all of the digital images it has captured since launch and made them available at once, so you can go from new Street View scenery to old Street View scenery with just one click.
"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," announced Google 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."
So, how does it work? Street View images will now show a clock icon in the upper-left hand corner. Click on the clock to reveal a slider, then scroll the years, and select a thumbnail to see that location in a previous year or season. You can view, for instance, the building of New York City's Freedom Tower over the last four years or the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Brazil.
"Forget going 88 mph in a DeLorean—you can stay where you are and use Google Maps to virtually explore the world as it is—and as it was," Google added, while also noting the feature serves as a digital timeline of recent history. "You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter."
It seems the back catalogue of Google Street View imagery is rolling out to users, because some people have reported it is not yet showing on desktop for them. Google typically rolls out new product features over the course of a week though, so it should appear for you within the next few days.
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