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Google Maps adds a nifty new feature to Immersive View

Google Maps has boosted its Immersive View feature with a new element that lets you explore a planned route in a whole new way.

Announced on Wednesday at its annual I/O event that also introduced a bunch of cool new devices, Immersive View for routes lets you see every segment of your trip before you set off, whether you’re driving, walking, or cycling.

The feature builds on the core Immersive View tool, which Google announced at last year’s I/O event. Immersive View was built by using computer vision and AI technology to fuse together billions of Street View and aerial images for a digital model of the world that you can explore in great detail.

Immersive View for routes expands on this by allowing you to visualize a planned route and also preview useful information about your upcoming journey.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai described the feature as an “entirely new way” of viewing a journey while demonstrating the feature during his keynote on Wednesday:

Google Keynote (Google I/O ‘23)

As the video shows, the Immersive View for routes offers a smooth, multidimensional experience that lets you check out bike lanes, sidewalks, intersections, and parking before you set off.

Google Maps’ Miriam Daniel explains in a blog post that it also includes a time slider to let you find out more about the air quality through the day, and how the route will likely look according to the weather forecast, so you can be properly prepared for your journey.

Daniel adds that the Immersive View for routes also uses gathered traffic data to simulate how many cars might be on the road at any given time, “because a route during a quiet afternoon can look very different during rush hour.”

The feature looks like another great addition to Google Maps, which has been on a monumental journey of its own since the first version of the tool landed 18 years ago.

Immersive View for routes will be rolled out “in the coming months” for Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Paris, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Tokyo, and Venice, with more cities expected later.

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Trevor Mogg
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