Google Announces Zoom Photo Navigation for Google Street View
Article by George Norman
On 28 Jul 2009
The Google Street View team has announced an update to the Street View service, update that is meant to further integrate the features of Panoramio into the Street View experience. Google added a feature called “Look around” to Panoramio last year in June, feature that included an interface that allows you to see outlines of other photos available for the same location. Google then added Panoramio user Photos to the Street View interface this March. And now this feature that lets you look around has been integrated in Google Street View.

Computer Vision Tech Lead with Google Zürich, Daniel Filip, comments: “One of the missions of the Street View team is to help users navigate the world's geographically located photos. We have just launched Street View Smart Navigation which provides 3D navigation between Street View panoramas. We have also recently added the option to browse user-contributed photos that match Street View images. Now we're bringing these concepts together to make it easier to explore photos through Street View.”


Daniel Filip uses Big Ben as an example to explain the new functionality in Google Street View. As he describes it, Panoramio users have taken shots of the British landmark from various angles, at different times of the day, and zoomed into different regions of it – and then they uploaded the images. In order to link all these images into Street View, the team at Google had to introduce this new feature which lets you go through similar user-contributed photos and will come in handy when one photo is a zoomed-in version of another.

“When an image is first shown in the photo viewer, a small set of the zoom polygons are shown indicating that there are close-up photos available to explore,” added Daniel Filip. “Subsequently, moving the mouse around in the window highlights the best polygon near the mouse location. Similar to the smart navigation feature, double clicking on the shaded rectangle jumps you to the corresponding photo. After one or more jumps, the back button appears next to the photo title to give you the option to move back through the selected sequence of photos.”

If you would like to see the new feature in action, a video is available on YouTube here.

Tags: Google, Google Street View, Panoramio, Zoom Photo Navigation
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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