Google Maps’s Immersive Immersive View feature – which lets you virtually tour landmarks – is finally getting a major upgrade in five major cities across the globe, which should make it easier to find your way around.
When the feature was announced at Google I/O 2022, Immersive View allowed people to virtually tour hundreds of landmarks from, Tokyo Tower to the Acropolis of Athens. Using a blend of aerial and street-view images – along with some AI assistance – Immersive View can show you an accurate 3D model of the tourist destination, providing you with a sense of the location’s layout and size. It can also feed you data from Google Maps, including visitor reviews, times when the location is typically busier and quieter, and what the weather is looking like.
While Immersive View was pretty neat, it was admittedly limited in scope. That’s why we’re excited to hear that Google is expanding the feature to more broadly cover five major cities across the globe: London, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Tokyo – ironically, France’s capital city is absent from this list, despite the announcement being made at Google’s ‘Live from Paris’ event.
Rather than being able to take a virtual aerial tour of only a few landmarks in these locations, you’ll be able to virtually explore the whole city. As you go, you’ll be able to collect useful information about the main landmarks, but also parks, restaurants, and other destinations that you might want to visit.
Annoyingly, even after this launch, Immersive View is still very limited. The world reportedly has 10,000 cities (opens in new tab) in it – so Immersive View currently covers 0.05% of them. Google plans to roll out the feature to four more cities – Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, and Venice – in the coming months, but it will likely be a few years before we’ll be able to rely on it for every trip we take.
Beyond Immersive View, Google also announced that its similar Live View feature will be rolling out for indoor spaces across Barcelona, Frankfurt, London, New York, Paris, Sydney, Taipei, and other cities in the coming months.
Live View uses your Android or iOS phone’s camera to help you explore a city with a handy AR overlay. You can rely on floating arrows to point you in the direction of your destination, and see details about venues you pass along the way if you want to pause to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping.
Indoor Live View will allow you to do the same for museums, shopping centers, and airports while you’re navigating them from the inside. Google promises that it’ll help you find stairs and elevators, restrooms, and taxi stands.
If you want to take advantage of the useful tools Google Maps has available today, check out these five Google Maps features you might not know about.