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Learn more about how Google built immersive views of maps

Learn more about how Google built immersive views of maps


In a nondescript warehouse on Google's vast campus in Mountain View, California, there are about a dozen cameras of all shapes and sizes. Some are attached to 500-pound rigs, while others are attached to what looks like Ghostbusters' proton packs. There are also bicycles, snowmobiles, and cars.

These cameras showcase both the evolution of Google's Street View camera technology and all the methods the search giant uses to capture images of everywhere on Earth, from city blocks to fields to mountain tops. To do. At the end of the row is his lone camera, which at first glance looks like an unassuming computer screen. But underneath he has four lenses, and when this device is attached to an airplane he will be able to take 3D aerial images.

The camera is used to capture footage for Google Maps' latest feature called Immersive View, which shows a three-dimensional rendering of a destination, including buildings, cars, trees, and even birds. You can move the time slider to see what the weather will be like in an hour, or how many cars will be on the road when you get home from work. And instead of just seeing red lines to symbolize traffic, like in the standard map view, you'll see images of individual cars backed up to really illustrate the situation.

There are two versions of Immersive View. One allows you to explore locations such as landmarks and parks that are already available, and the other allows you to preview your route. The latter is being rolled out in cities such as San Francisco, New York and London. This option allows you to glide along the route and see where each turn is and what your surroundings look like at each step.

Immersive views look real, but they don't use real-time imagery. Google creates these digital models by combining footage shot for Street View with images taken by his 3D aerial camera, similar to those used in Hollywood movies. AI and computer vision help align all images and identify objects such as road signs, sidewalks, and street names. Everything comes together to create a realistic three-dimensional rendering of your immersive view.

Watch the video above for an exclusive look at Google's 3D camera and a tour of the company's Street View Museum, which shows advances in the Maps camera.




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