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(Pocket-lint) - Google Street View and Maps are getting an update that will allow you to submit immersive Street View photos using just your phone. Google published a blog post to confirm its plans to start using user-generated content when it doesn’t have its own Street View data available.

More specifically, Google said Android users with ARCore-compatible devices will be able to capture and publish photos to its Google Street View service. Google is accepting submissions in Toronto, New York, Austin, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Costa Rica. Eventually, more regions will be added.

You won't need a special 360-degree camera or attachment to get started. Google said it can auto-rotate and position multiple photos captured in its Street View app for Android devices. To be clear, this is a beta feature, and it's been in testing for quite some time, according to Google. To get started, open the latest version of the Street View App, hit the new Create button in the navigation bar, and start recording images. It's that simple.

“While our own Street View trekkers and cars have collected more than 170 billion images from 10 million miles around the planet, there are still many unmapped parts of the world,” explained Stafford Marquardt, product manager of Google Maps Street View. “Where people contribute connected photos, they will appear in the Street View layer on Google Maps as dotted blue lines.”

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Add it all up, and Gooogle Street View should quickly come to more places, including rural areas, of the world. User-generated imagery will even be used in Google Maps. Of course, Google said it will still blur sensitive parts of any submissions, such as faces and license plates.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 4 December 2020.