Earlier this year, Google announced a new “immersive view” feature for Google Maps. Using the power of AI, the tool takes flat photos and creates 3D images of landmarks, restaurants and certain buildings. This gives users a better idea of what to expect at that location.
And now that view is rolling out in navigation and will be available to users soon.
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Starting this week, new 3D views of 15 cities will be available for driving, walking and cycling, allowing users to prepare turn-by-turn guidance with a new look. Instead of the traditional satellite view or Google Street View, there is now a hybrid of the two in the form of a 3D image that shows the entire route.
Cities included are Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tokyo and Venice.
If you want to plan ahead, there’s a slider to view the route at different times of the day and with predicted weather — all powered by AI. The feature is a bit like Google Street View, but because it’s based on a combination of different types of photos, the new view is more modern and more customizable.
Google is also adding some features to help Maps work like a normal search. Now, instead of searching for a specific place or address on the map, users can search for more general searches like “art supplies nearby” or “coffee shops with latte art nearby.” The former will categorize local attractions in a scrollable carousel, and the latter actually searches user-uploaded photos to find that sort of thing and shows where those photos were taken as pins on a map.
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To use the feature, go to the Google Maps app on Android or iOS, drag a location to one of the available cities, and click the “Immersive View” button to launch.
In addition, “Lens on Maps” augmented reality search is available in more than 50 new cities. With this feature (previously available in a more limited format and called “Search with Live View”), you can quickly look around you by tapping the lens icon in the search bar and lifting your phone to look around. If you’re in a supported location, you’ll see ATMs, bus or train stations, shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and more.