Everyone knows how useful Google Maps can be. But for most people, street view on Google Maps may seem like nothing more than a novelty.
This is far from the truth. Google Maps Street View has dozens of practical uses. These ideas can save you time, reduce stress while traveling, or let you go on an adventure from the comfort of your couch.
Let’s take a look at the 8 most effective ways to use Google Maps Street View.
1. Use Street View on Google Maps to explore vacation spots
Imagine you are planning a family vacation in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee. You know there are great places for shopping, walking and dining. But how do you find the best ones?
Sure, you can rely on reviews from Google or local experts, but why not visit the places of interest before heading there?
To do this, use Google Maps to find the city you want to visit. Then switch to satellite view and zoom in with all the shops, dining areas and other attractions. Then drag the street view icon (little yellow man) onto the map of the street you want to explore.
Once on the street, just move along it using the arrows. Click and swipe to look left and right for all the attractions you can visit when you get there.
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One of the most frustrating parts of traveling is adding restaurants or attractions to your itinerary that sound great on the internet, but once you get there, the surroundings look terrible. By exploring your holiday destination in advance with street view, you can set off the whole family in an exciting and fun atmosphere.
2. See how places have changed with the history view
Google has been sending its cars with cameras around the world for years. This means that Google has amassed an impressive collection of historical photographs of many places.
In Street View, you can select the small timer icon right below the location address. You will see a slider below the previous photos. Move the slider back to the year you want to see, and then select the photo to enlarge.
For local historians, this is a great way to see how places have changed over time. For city administrators and politicians, this is a useful way to see how local urban investments have changed the community (for better or for worse).
For ecologists, viewing history allows you to explore how clear-cut or other commercial interests have negatively impacted the natural landscape over time.
However, keep in mind that you cannot predict what time of year Google took its photos. Therefore, comparing things like natural landscape can be more difficult if the seasons in the two photographs are different.
3. Discover your future apartment neighborhood
Hunting in the apartment is difficult. You have to make sure that the apartment has what is important to you. The cost must be correct. Schools and the local economy are also important.
But you cannot see in the list of apartments what the community around this apartment looks like.
Google Maps Street View can help you with this.
Enter the address of your potential apartment and drag the street view icon onto the map.
Exploring the area with Street View gives you a lot of information that you would not normally get from a listing of apartments.
- Are adjacent streets and sidewalks well maintained?
- Do you see old cars or rubbish near local houses?
- What do the residents look like walking the streets? Does the area look dangerous?
- Is the exterior of the apartment building or house good repair?
You will be surprised how much detailed streetview information on Google Maps can help you in your future rental choices.
4. Relax and enjoy the stunning scenery without the use of gas
There are some breathtaking views from all over the world just waiting to be enjoyed. Of course, you could invest in airline tickets, hotel and car rentals to see these views. Or you can enter a location and explore these views in all their glory from your couch.
It’s not always that you feel like traveling, but after a long and stressful day at work, would it be a good idea to use Street View to ride the famous Cankamagus Highway in New Hampshire’s White Mountains? Or explore the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California?
Or, if you like the ocean, you can take a virtual scenic drive along the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway.
Watch soaring seagulls, rippling waves and the glare of the sun as you drive along with street browsing on Google Maps.
All that is missing is the smell of the ocean blowing from open windows.
5. Explore places that have been abandoned with Street View in Google Maps
If you love exploration, you can move on to exploring abandoned places using Google Maps Street View.
All over the world there are historical cities lost in the sands of time. You can see old brick and stone banks or prisons that have only been visited by ghosts of the past in abandoned cities like Thurmond, West Virginia.
Or travel abroad and see the ruins of Eilean Donan Castle in Loch Duich, Scotland.
You can catch a glimpse of abandoned theme parks, castles, orphanages, prisons, and more.
Such Street View exploration requires some investigation, as the exact location of abandoned sites is often not always available to the public.
But if you can track the location, you can call Google Maps Street View to drive past and take a look at it. If you’re lucky, other people have visited this place in person and have left actual photos on Google Maps for you to get a closer look at.
6. Look out for Trailheads before going hiking
One of the most frustrating aspects of hiking is finding multiple waypoints. The last thing you want to do is spend all morning detouring the base of the mountain to find the start of the trail.
In most cases, you will find many landmarks (where you usually find parking) right on Google Maps.
In other cases, especially for less popular trails, you need to switch to Google Maps street view and explore the area until you find a trail.
Street View allows you to virtually â€œdrive aroundâ€ to find a location long before you spend time looking for it in the morning on a hike.
Once you’ve identified the location, you can click and drag your mouse to look left and right to find a good parking spot. When you’re satisfied, just click on the red marker icon next to your current address and mark the location on Google Maps so you can find it later.
Save your location to your favorites so you can access it from your phone when you’re on the go.
7. See walking directions in augmented reality with live view
While it’s not really Street View, when you’re walking around town or town, you can get a similar view on your phone with directions on how to get where you need to go.
This is called Live View and is a real-time augmented reality alternative to Street View.
To access this feature, simply open the Google Maps app and select three lines to open the Menu. Scroll down to Settings and select Navigation Settings. At the bottom of the menu, you will see hiking trails. Include detailed voice guidance.
Now that you are in Google Maps and choose walking instead of driving as your mode of transport, Live View starts and the voice assistant will tell you how to walk.
8. Travel internationally on a budget of $ 0
Have you ever wanted to see beaches in Normandy, the Louvre in Paris or the Great Pyramid of Giza?
Street View on Google Maps gives you access to all of these amazing places and you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a plane ticket to get there.
Just follow the same procedure as above. Enter the location into Google Maps and then place the Live View icon as close to that location as possible. Then click and hold your mouse to look and explore in all directions.
You will be amazed at the breathtaking places around the world that you can explore. And even if you think you won’t be able to get close enough to get a good look, you will find that tourists who have visited this place before have left some great photos tagged with this place on Google Maps.