A new update to Google Maps provides a realistic aerial view of nearly 100 iconic landmarks and their surroundings from around the world, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York.
These are short videos that appear in the Photos section under the Google Maps map. To access it, simply choose a monument as your destination in the application on a mobile device.
These videos look like they were captured by a drone flying around tourist attractions, but they were actually stitched together using artificial intelligence from billions of images taken from Street View, photos taken by satellite or aerial photos.
The Californian giant claims that this is a first step towards
immersive view promised for Google Maps last May. This should make it possible to travel freely over cities with the same kind of images as the aerial views offered today. The feature is slated to roll out to five major cities — Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo — later this year.
This aerial view is just one of three improvements for the app that were announced in a blog post published on Wednesday.
Google says that information for cycling navigation will also be improved in its mapping application. It will be possible to know in particular on which type of road (major artery, secondary street, etc.) or cycle path (cycle lane, separate path, etc.) our itinerary will take us. The app will also indicate if there are steep inclines or stairs along the way.
The third and final feature announced on Wednesday is the ability to let others know our location through Google Maps. This function already exists in a number of applications such as Messenger from Meta or Localiser (Find My) from Apple.