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Google now lets you create your own ‘Street View experience’ with new Maps feature

Google has for some time allowed you to share your photo spheres online as part of its Maps tool.

A new feature in its Views community rolled out Monday takes this experience a step further, enabling you to pull together several of your 360-degree panoramas to create a Street View experience allowing Web users to navigate their way around a particular location, moving seamlessly from one image to another.

So now you can take friends and family, or anyone at all for that matter, on a walk through your favorite location, whether it’s a park, hiking trail, or some special spot in town. And best of all, you don’t need a hefty Trekker camera to capture the shots, as most Android devices or any DSLR shooter will do the job just fine.

In a blog post introducing the feature, Google’s Evan Rapoport also suggests company owners could use it to offer potential customers and clients a virtual tour of their business or offer visual information on some other aspect of their trade.

Street View experience

To try out the new feature, you first need to create your photo spheres and share them on Views. After that, simply select your spheres from your profile and use Google’s new tool to connect them together.

“Once your photo spheres are connected and published, people can navigate between them on Google Maps, just like they can in Street View,” Rapoport explains in his post, adding that the Web giant is looking forward to seeing how people make use of the new feature.

“For example, this feature can now enable environmental non-profits to document and promote the beautiful places they strive to protect,” the Googler writes. “It also opens up a new tool for photographers to showcase diversity in a specific location – by times of day weather conditions or cultural events – in a way that Street View currently doesn’t cover.”

Users can also embed their work on their own website using Google’s interactive viewer, which may appeal to company owners keen to show off their business.

Below we’ve embedded one of Rapoport’s Street View experiences that he built with photo spheres showing the scenery around Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland.

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