Everyone knows how useful Google Maps can be. But for most people, Google Maps Street View may seem like nothing new.
This could not be further from the truth. There are dozens of practical uses for Google Maps Street View. These ideas will save you time, reduce stress when you travel, or allow you to go on adventures from the comfort of your couch.
Let’s look at the eight most useful uses of Google Maps Street View.
1. Use Google Maps Street View to explore vacation spots
Imagine you are planning your family vacation in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. You know there are wonderful places to shop, go hiking and eat. But how do you find the best ones?
Sure, you could rely on Google Reviews or Local Guides, but why not visit the locations that interest you before you travel?
To do this, use Google Maps to find the city you want to visit. Then switch to Satellite View and expand your location with all the shops, dining areas, and other attractions. Then drag the Street View icon on the map to the location of the street you want to explore.
Once you’re on the street, just use the arrows to walk down that street. Click and drag your mouse to look left and right at all the attractions you could visit once you’re really there.
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One of the most frustrating parts of traveling is putting restaurants or attractions on your itinerary that sound great online, but once you get there, the neighborhood looks terrible. Exploring your vacation spot in advance with Street View ensures that you take your family to always exciting and fun environments.
2. See how the sites have changed with the history view
Google has been sending its camera vehicles around the world for many years. This means that Google has stored an impressive collection of historical photos from many places.
In Street View, you can select the small timer icon just below the location address. You will see a slider bar below the photos above. Swipe the bar to the year you want to view, and select the photo to zoom in.
For local historians, this is a great way to see how places have changed over time. For city administrators and politicians, it’s an insightful way to see how local city investments have changed the community (for better or for worse).
For environmentalists, History View allows you to examine how clarity or other business interests have negatively affected the natural landscape over time.
Please note, however, that you cannot predict the season that Google will capture your photos. Thus, comparing things like the natural landscape can be more difficult if the seasons between two photos are different.
3. Explore the neighborhood of your future apartment
The apartment hunt is tough. You need to make sure that the features of the apartments include things that interest you. The cost must be correct. And schools and the local economy are also important.
But one thing that cannot be seen in a list of apartments is the look of the community around this apartment.
This is where Google Maps Street View can help.
Enter the address of your potential apartment and drag the Street View icon to the map.
Exploring the neighborhood using Street View gives you a lot of ideas you wouldn’t normally get from a list of apartments.
- Are the streets and sidewalks of the neighborhood in good condition?
- Do you see older cars or trash outside of local homes?
- How are the residents walking the streets? Does the neighborhood seem dangerous?
- Is the exterior of the building or house in good condition?
You’ll be amazed at how much information Google Maps Street View can offer about your future rental option.
4. Relax with panoramic views without using gas
There are stunning views around the world just waiting to be enjoyed. Of course, you could invest in airfare, a hotel, and a rental car just to see these views. Or, you can write down the location and explore these views in all their grandeur while sitting on the couch.
This isn’t the way one would ever want to travel, but after a long, stressful day at work, wouldn’t it be nice to use Street View to stroll along the famous Kancamagus Road in the White Mountains of New Hampshire? Or explore the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California?
Or if the ocean is what interests you most, you can take a virtual scenic route along the Atlantic Ocean Road to Norway.
Watch the seagulls soar, the waves rising and the sun shining as you stroll alongside Google Maps Street View.
All that’s missing is the ocean smell blowing through the open windows.
5. Explore abandoned places with Google Maps Street View
If you’re interested in exploring, we recommend exploring abandoned places with Google Maps Street View.
All over the world, there are historic cities that are lost under the sand of time. You can see old brick and stone benches or prisons visited only by the ghosts of the past in abandoned cities like Thurmond, West Virginia.
Or head abroad and look at the ruins of Eilean Donan Castle in Loch Duich, Scotland.
You can spot abandoned theme parks, castles, asylums, prisons and more.
This type of Street View exploration requires some interest, as the exact locations of abandoned sites are often not always publicly available.
But if you can track your location, you can call Google Maps Street View to drive by and take a look. If you’re lucky, other people have visited the location in person and left real photos on Google Maps so you can see them even closer.
6. Look for routes before hiking
One of the most annoying parts of the hiker is finding the location of many route heads. The last thing you want to do is get lost all morning driving down the base of a mountain to find where the trail starts.
In most cases, you’ll find many header locations (where you’ll usually find a parking lot) located on Google Maps itself.
Other times, especially for less popular routes, you’ll need to switch to Google Maps Street View and explore the area until you find the trail.
Street View allows you to virtually “drive” to find the location long before you waste time looking for it on the morning of your walk.
Once you spot the location, you can click and drag your mouse to look left and right for a good parking location. When you’re satisfied, simply select the red marker icon next to the current address and mark your location on Google Maps so you can find it later.
Save your location to your favorite places list so you can access it from your phone when you’re on the road.
7. See Augmented Reality Walking Directions with Live View
While it’s not exactly “Street View,” when you’re walking around a city or town, you can get a similar view on your phone with directions to where you need to go.
It’s called “Live View” and is a real-time augmented reality alternative to Street View.
To access this feature, simply open the Google Maps app and select all three lines to open the menu. Scroll down to Configuration and select Navigation settings. At the end of the menu you will see Walking directions. Switch on Detailed voice guide.
Now when you’re on Google Maps and select walking as your mode of transportation instead of driving, Live View will launch and a voice will give you step-by-step instructions on how to walk there.
8. Travel internationally on a budget of $ 0
Have you ever wanted to see the beaches of Normandy, the Louvre in Paris or the Great Pyramid of Giza?
Google Maps Street View gives you access to all these amazing places, and you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a plane ticket to get there.
Just follow the same procedure as above. Type your location on Google Maps, then place the Live View icon as close to that location as possible. Then hold down the mouse to look and explore in all directions.
You will be amazed by the stunning places around the world that you can explore. And even when you think you won’t be able to get close enough to look good, you’ll find that tourists who visited that location before have left some amazing photos tagged with this Google Maps location.