Google Street View as a time machine. A little-known function of Google Maps

The Google Maps service was launched on February 8, 2005. Just two years later, on May 25, 2007, the Street View function appeared in it. Over the past 15 years, the service has collected an impressive collection of photos taken in different years and they are available for viewing by anyone, like a kind of time machine.

By default, Google Street View opens the latest photos of a particular place. But if you select the “View other dates” option on the address box in the upper left corner, a panel with photos from other years will open below. But, of course, their number depends on how often the Google team conducts additional filming of the area.

Let’s say for downtown San Francisco, there are more than 20 different photos of the same streets and buildings starting in May 2008. In some years, the shooting was done three or even four times, as was the case in 2015 and 2016, for example. In these photos you can see how skyscrapers are built, how the urban landscape changes, the design of shop windows and signs, car brands and so on.

You can return to the current view of the streets in Google Street View by clicking the “View the latest image” button. Of course, this may not be a very fresh image, but it is the last one for this area.

Let’s say that there were only two Google Street View filmings in Kyiv – in the fall of 2011 and in the spring of 2015. There is a difference here, especially in the area of new buildings, but not so great. For most places in Ukraine, there is generally only one picture, for many locations, especially in small towns, the Google Street View function is not available at all.

On the other hand, the situation with Google Street View in Ukraine is much better than in Germany. The only filming in this country was carried out in 2008, covered only a few cities and faced such dissatisfaction from the population and the government that for the last 15 years Google has not even tried to return to Germany, which looks like a real white spot on the Google Street View map.

We hope that after the victory and liberation of the temporarily occupied territories, the Google Street View team will return to Ukraine, and this time will not miss even the small settlements of our beautiful country.