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Featured Image Credit: Google Maps
Google has announced a new 'immersive view' feature coming to Maps to allow users to explore the world like never before.
Whether for navigating your way around a new city or finding the quickest way to your nearest petrol station, Google Maps has long been a life saver for users across the globe.
It offers handy paths for us to follow and reviews of the places we want to go, but now its new feature will take the notion of checking out new places to a whole new level, offering users the chance to 'experience what a neighbourhood, landmark, restaurant or popular venue is like - and even feel like you’re right there before you ever set foot inside'.
Users can look at the computer-generated images see whether they like the look of an area, whether it offers whatever they're looking for and get information about the live popularity and traffic to determine when the best time to visit might be.
Liz Reid, a VP of engineering at Google, explained the company was able to fuse together its satellite images and Street View shots to help creators understand, for example, the height of the buildings.
Recalling the process, per The Verge, she commented: "How do we combine that with Street View? How do we combine it with aerial view to make something that feels much more like you were there? It’s a thing where we had demos years ago, and it was like, ‘oh, here’s the thing,’ but it didn’t really work.
"Now the technology has come a long way into making it feel pretty natural."
Another new feature announced by Google is an update on its eco-friendly routing, which launched recently in the US and Canada and allows users to choose the most fuel-efficient routes for driving.
"Users have saved more than an estimated half a million metric tons of carbon emissions, according to the company, and the figure is set to double as it expands to more places across the globe.
When it comes to helping ensure you don't get lost, Google Maps revealed plans to make its Live View technology available to developers of other apps, allowing users to better navigate their surroundings and indoor areas such as airports and shopping malls.