Google is bringing a new addition to Maps with which users can now create Street View photos using their phones. Android users who own ARCore-compatible devices can capture these images and then publish them to Google Street View in certain areas.
This feature is not entirely new because it was available to users in the past too but required a special 360-degree camera. The only difference is that this time, the images can be captured using a standard phone camera.
Google will be accepting submissions from certain regions initially, including Toronto, New York, Austin, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Costa Rica. The company allow more regions to support the feature in near future.
The purpose of letting users capture Street View photos is because even though the company’s own Street View trekkers and cars have collected more than 170 billion images from 10 million miles around the world, there are still many parts of the world that are unmapped. Therefore, Google will use the user-generated content when its own Street View imagery isn’t available.
Street View photos contributed by the user community will appear in the Street View layer on Google Maps as dotted blue lines. Furthermore, these photos will be automatically rotated and positioned, while license plates and faces in the photos will be blurred out.
This initiative by Google is going to make a lot of hard-to-reach places easy to locate on Maps. Moreover, Google will be using this imagery to update Google Maps with important information like new businesses or publicly posted open hours.