Google Street View has become one of the best tools to travel around the world in eighty seconds. Now, a simple but fun update on Google Street View allows you to roll back time. The timeline of past events has been recreated with the help of historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007. You can say that Google has dug up its archives to create this digital time capsule of the world. The update is rolling out to Street View in Google Maps for Desktop.
It’s the closest thing to time travel we are going to get – to go back until 2007, at least. One of the nice things is that you can use Street View to see a place change across different seasons, and during the night as well. For instance, you can see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter. Just like a timelapse photo, you can see the transformation of a landmark through the years. Like, the construction of the Freedom Tower in New York City from the ground up or the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Not every landmark or neighborhood is available with this feature. Google is building up this collection for its most popular virtual tours. Google says you will be able to spot the collections with a clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of a Street View image. Click on it and move the slider through time and select a thumbnail to see that same place in previous years or seasons. The feature is being rolled out across the 55 countries where street view imagery is available. People in Germany and Switzerland may not be able to see localized images because of legal restrictions.
If you see the clock icon, give us a shout in the comments. Did it evoke some nostalgia? Do you think it helps us all connect with the past with the help of a company that’s all about the future?