Google Maps rolling out AI-based immersive view

Currently, the feature will only be available in five cities worldwide – London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Google has introduced a new AI-powered immersive view feature in the Google Maps app which was previewed by the tech giant at I/O 2022. Currently, the feature will only be available in five cities worldwide – London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo.  

The immersive view feature combines the benefits of street view and aerial imagery, offering a digital model of a place and real-time updates on traffic, weather, and the level of activity. The app also features a time slider that allows users to see how an area looks at different times of the day.

Google unveiled the new feature at the Search AI event in Paris. With the immersive view feature, users can virtually explore the interiors of stores and restaurants without physically visiting the location. The feature leverages NeRF technology, which stands for Neural Radiance Fields, to provide real-time information, including traffic conditions, nearby restaurants, weather, and time of day.

This technology takes 2D shots of a location from multiple angles and creates a 3D representation of the scene. Google has stated that the immersive view feature is going live in five cities worldwide including London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo. 

In addition to the immersive view feature, Google has also launched the Search with Live View feature, which uses AI for indoor and outdoor navigation. Users can locate parks, restaurants, ATMs, and more by following augmented reality arrows. The service will soon be expanded to Madrid, Dublin, and Barcelona.

The indoor street view feature is also undergoing a major upgrade and will be available in over 1,000 new airports, train stations, and malls located in Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Melbourne, Paris, Prague, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, and Taipei in the coming months.

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Abhinav Kumar


Abhinav is an editor at OnlyTech. He is a tech enthusiast who loves to read and write about new things. He spends most of his time tinkering with smartphones or computers when not writing about tech.

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Now when you hover your mouse on any location on Google Maps, you will see current temperature and weather conditions of that place. Google is providing the weather information layer in coordination with and the US Naval Research Lab. To activate the feature, you need to click on the widget on the upper right corner of the Google Maps.
The new feature also tells you if it is day or night in that place via sun and moon icons. Google hopes the weather information layer help in making travel and activity planning more convenient. Apart from the current temperature, you will now be provided with detailed data such as current humidity, wind conditions and even weather prediction for the next four days.

You can also change the units of wind speed (Mph/KMph/Mps) and temperature (F/C), and enable or disable the clouds.

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Google’s added a new feature to its Street View maps – 360-degree views of the interiors of establishments. Google had started a test program for this in April last year, and now, the fruits are visible for all to see. For now, shops, eateries and other establishments in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States (as well as the cities of London and Paris) have been able to invite Street View photographers to capture their interiors.
Speaking about the new feature, a Google spokesperson said:
"We've been seeing renewed interest in the past few days because, as promised, we're getting more imagery online. The 360-degree views are really visually engaging, so we're glad users are excited."
The aim is to provide immersive imagery so that potential customers can imagine themselves at the establishment, to aid their decision of visiting it. The feature should provide businesses an interesting way to bring customers into the store before they are even in the vicinity of it. The program is entirely voluntary, and for now, is still in its trial stages, with only a few select cities in each of the announced territories actually getting the chance to call over a Street View photographer. Google intends to start expanding the program’s reach soon however.

View image at the forums

According to reports, Google is also directly offering establishments which are top-ranking on the site's searches the choice to add business photos to their Google Place page. The trial program is staying away from big brands, rather, will concentrate on smaller restaurants, hotels, shops and gyms.
Since the inception of Street View, concerns have been raised about the privacy of individuals in the images, whether at home, their workplace, or as bystanders. With the release of this latest feature, Google has announced it is blurring the faces of any bystanders to allay these very fears. The participation guidelines for Street View photography for businesses include the below information:
Business owners are told they must warn their customers and employees about the photoshoot before it begins. Google has promised it will blur out or refuse to publish any images that include bystanders.
The photoshoots will produce 360-degree images using fish-eye and wide-angle lenses as well as stills. Business owners are also invited to upload their own pictures.
Speaking about the project, a Google spokesperson told the BBC:
"Building on the Google Art Project, which took Street View technology inside 17 acclaimed museums, this project is another creative implementation of Street View technology, to help businesses as they build their online presence. We hope to enable businesses to highlight the qualities that make their locations stand out through professional, high-quality imagery."

Source : Digit

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