Google Maps Street View gets ‘biggest update ever’

Google Street View

Google Maps’ Street View feature just got a whole lot bigger, with updates to 250,000 miles of roads around the world, and double the number of special collections, which give users 360-degree views of international landmarks, parks, and other attractions. The “biggest Street View update ever” comes just after Google added Street View functionality to the iOS Web app.

Countries whose roads are now far more exposed to the world include Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, and Canada. New special collections are now available for South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico, and others. Google points users to new updated locations, “like Catherine Palace and Ferapontov monastery in Russia, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan, or Stanley Park in Vancouver.”

To view the full gallery of Street View Collections, click here.

While nothing can replace physical travel, Street View is one of the prime examples of how the Web is making the world a smaller place. Now, those of us with little chance of ever visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem, or the Amazon rain forest in Brazil, can at least know what these destinations look like, in all their Street View cam glory.

Of course, it’s impossible to mention anything maps related without a peek under the band-aid at the still-festering wound that is Apple’s Maps app. The company continues to promise that things are getting better — though it’s going to be quite a while before we’re able to call this problem fixed. In the mean time, we just have to wait and hope that Google is putting as much effort into building a version of Google Maps for iOS 6 as it is trolling the streets of Macau.