Really Really Really Cool New Feature of Google Maps: Time Travel!

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 6.41.50 AMI have always been a fan of google maps, and I especially enjoy their street view. I often use it before traveling to an unfamiliar place so I can “see” the place I’m going, and get familiar with the landscape, etc.

This has come in extremely handy, in one instance allowing me to recognize landmarks and direct the cab driver to my hotel (altho I had never been there, before!).

Now Google Maps has introduced a new feature …. Time Travel!

Time Travel allows you to look at a particular place as it looked the last time the google-car passed by, and then look back to see it as-it-was when the google-car passed by the last time, and the time before that, and the time before that …..

This is pretty darn cool!

I tried it on my own house, and I could see it as-it-was before the most recent paint job, and before Sandy took down the trees, and before we sold the last car…..

Google Time Travel isn’t available everywhere, but it does now exist for many areas. And, as the google-car keeps mapping, I assume the time-travel feature will expand.

To show you an example, I used the construction site at the World Trade Center area of Manhattan.

First you must navigate to the street view area of wherever you want to see. To do this, just pull the little orange guy onto a street as you look at the map. Poof! You will now be in “street view” mode.

Now look at the upper left hand corner of your computer screen to see if Time Travel is available. If it is, you will see this:

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 6.39.09 AM

Just tap on this Time Travel option, and it will open to show you the dates available.

Here I will show you two screens, one from August 2013, and then the same view from April, 2009. There are also other options to select time in-between those dates.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 6.37.48 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 6.38.24 AM

Google Time Travel is available at most “famous” places around the world, but it is expanding. As I said, my own street is now covered for the last few years, which is proof that Time Travel is available in ordinary places.

Have fun!

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

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7 Comments

  1. Love Google Maps!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Wonderful! Now if I could go back to what my street looked like when I was seven!

    Reply
  3. CH, the husband, will love this. Doubt this works in our teeny rural town but it would be great in St. Louis. He loves the google map feature for street view to look at houses we might be thinking of buying. IF we ever decide to move.. :D

    Reply
  4. People could have fun with that feature. Trying to find where point A is in relation to point B would be helpful too. Asking for two public places, the map programs just gave me semi-nearby businesses with similar names. I wanted to find out how close Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle is to the Ballard Locks and it just gave me fishing gear stores and locksmiths. If I used the actual addresses it said it couldn’t find them, yet it could find either one alone with name or address. Both google maps and mapquest did the same thing. Makes me wonder if these people pay them to make their stores show up instead of what people are actually looking for. Both maps could easily find one or the other, but neither would show both together and they are probably a mile apart or less. Some of the stores they showed instead were farther away.

    Reply
    • Did you try “get directions” on Google maps? It came up on the first try for me. 2.4 miles, 8 mins

      Reply

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