A New Way to Share Travel Photos: Google's DIY Street View

Conde Nast Traveler

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Google Maps's Street View feature has been around for a while, helping travelers navigate the world through mapping on-the-ground images of city streets, beaches, parks, and even airport terminals. And it's apparently only going to get better, thanks to a brand new feature that will allow travelers to create and share their own street views, with photographs taken from their mobile device or DSLR.

Using a new Google Maps feature, travelers can create, upload, and share 360 degree Photo Spheres of destinations they're currently visiting. See for example, these stunning, user-generated Photo Spheres of an Iranian mosque, the Machu Picchu under the midday sun, or sunrise over Mount Everest. Users can then upload their Photo Spheres into Google Maps's Views tool, allowing other travelers consulting Google Maps to see that destination through various "viewpoints."

According to Google, it's a way for people to showcase the diversity of a specific location—"by times of day, weather conditions or cultural events"—in a way that Google Street View didn't previously cover. Google hopes the new tool with enable people to better "share and witness the beauty and breadth of our planet." And judging from early Street Views, it's doing the job nicely.

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