Web

Google unveils a series of new updates to improve Google Street View

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That street isn’t actually curved, so why does Google Street View seem to suggest that it is? If you’re one of the many people who has asked that very question, there’s good news awaiting — the tech giant has unveiled a myriad of updates on its Developers Blog, all with the goal of making Street View, you know, less bad.

“Street View is one of Google Maps’ most loved features, providing users with a way to explore and experience the world around them,” Google said. But over the last few years, the feature has been plagued with various rendering issues, from jumpy frames to low resolution imagery.

No longer, however. As Google said, “Today we’re making Street View even better, especially on mobile devices, by launching a new Street View renderer in the Google Maps JavaScript API.”

A number of improvements have been made, including smoother transitions between places, all thanks to a greater number of frames and improved loading animations. Moreover, Google now uses WebGL, which allows the web giant to swap its curved fish-eye images for straight lines on mobile devices. Plus, there’s also motion tracking on your smartphone, which means you can move a phone around to navigate a new place.

Google notes, “Objects in Street View look better in the new renderer because it builds a 360-degree model that considers all possible perspectives.” Moreover, says the web monolith, “Street names and labels are now separated from controls, removing overlap issues and allowing for clean display in right-to-left and left-to-right languages.”

Ultimately, these updates allow for a much more realistic sense of your surroundings, so you actually know what you’re getting yourself into when you explore a new destination.

“We hope you enjoy using the new and improved Street View renderer! Also a big thank you to all the developers who use the Google Maps JavaScript API and provide feedback via the issue tracker,” Google concluded. “Getting feedback from developers is vital for us to be able to keep improving our products, so if you have any bug reports or feature requests, please let us know!”

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