Google Maps Street View now lets you time travel

Google Maps Street View gained a new feature on Wednesday: a way to travel through time. Street View has always offered time travel of a sort: Its images show the past. But now Street View can display multiple pictures of a place taken over a span of years. If you could actually travel to the past, your view of Street View would be different. Were you to travel back to 2007, for example, you might watch a Google Street View car drive past, unaware that it was capturing private data from open WiFi access points.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to go back in time for even a few years, Google’s Street View has you covered. Google’s Street View cars periodically wander the world, snapping pictures every few feet. Google’s cars have traversed all of the world’s major continents, including Antarctica, allowing you to get a glimpse of what life is like on a broad swath of the globe. You can even find out where the Street View cars are headed next. What Google hasn’t done—until now, that is—is let you peer into the past. Traditionally, Google shows you the most current photo it has for a given location, even though it has an image stored from the last time a Street View card visited (if there is one). Now, you can see what Google saw, too.

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