Google has revealed it has captured 10 million miles of Street View images until now for Google Maps. Additionally, Google Earth now houses 36 million miles of high-definition satellite images that essentially covers 98 percent of the world's entire population. Separately, the Google Maps has quietly added a new feature that will be very useful for the electric vehicle users around the world. The Maps users can now search for EV charging stations and filter them based on the type of plug supposed.
The company announced on Friday that Google Earth now lets people browse more than 36 million square miles of high definition satellite images from various providers - covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population - to see the world from above.
"While these stunning photos show us parts of the world we may never get a chance to visit, they also help Google Maps accurately model a world that is changing each day," said Thomas Escobar, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps.
The idea of Street View started as a side project more than 12 years ago as part of a goal to map the entire world.
The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible.
"These cameras are athermal, meaning that theyaï¿½re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments," Escobar added.
Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance.
There's also the Street View trekker, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn't possible.
These trekkers are carried by boats, sheep, camels, and even scout troops to gather high quality photos from multiple angles, often in some of the hardest-to-map places around the world.
In 2019 alone, Street View images from the Google Maps community have helped the company assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings in previously under-mapped places like Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.
Once Google collects photos, it uses a technique called photogrammetry to align and stitch together a single set of images.
"These images show us critically important details about an area-things like roads, lane markings, buildings and rivers, along with the precise distance between each of these objects. All of this information is gathered without ever needing to set foot in the location itself," said Google.
Coming to the EV charging plug filter feature in Google Maps, the app's users can add the type of plug their electric car supports in the app's Electric vehicle settings that Google will take into account when you next search for an electric vehicle charging station near your location. Thus, avoiding instances when you show up at a charging station that doesn't support your car. The feature was first noticed by Android Police.