Toronto residents with AR Core capable Android devices are being invited to help build out the ‘Street View’ feature in Google Maps.
The new update to the Street View app adds a feature called the ‘connected photos tool’ that records a series of images and stitches them together as users walk or drive down roads and paths.
This is basically Google using a more complex version of the software that makes panorama pictures possible on phones. However, since this new version uses the company’s AR Core, it can sense depth in the images, allowing Google to rotate and manipulate the photos to create the Street View experience people are accustomed to without requiring a giant 3D camera mounted to the roof of a car.
Google says that this feature allows users to document things that are changing rapidly, like an area after a natural disaster or following a new building’s construction. It’s also useful for bringing Street View to places where cars can’t go, including parks, hiking trails and other outdoor walking-only zones.
If you have the new Street View app update, you can tap on the ‘Create’ heading in the bottom navigation bar to start recording your surroundings. Google does the rest, like blurring out faces and license plates.
The only caveat with this update is that it’s only available to people with the Street View app and an ARCore-compatible Android device in Toronto, New York and Austin, TX, along with Nigeria, Indonesia and Costa Rica.
It should be noted that we attempted to test this feature on an OnePlus 8T and a Pixel 3 XL, and neither had the new software experience.