Tech Tip: Finding the Date on a Map Image

Tech Tip: Finding the Date on a Map Image

- in World Biz
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Q. Is there any way to tell the age of a photo used in Google Maps Street View?

A. One way to see when Google’s photo-snapping staff captured an image is to look at it in the desktop version of Google Maps. After you enter an address, click in your browser to the results. Select the Street View option (if one is available), and you should see a small label at the bottom of the screen that says “Image Capture,” followed by a month and year.

As circled at the bottom of the screen, the desktop version of Google Street View openly displays the month and year that an image was captured. As shown in the upper-left corner, some Street View locations have a timeline history of past photographs you can explore.

Credit
The New York Times

For some locations, Google has a history of Street View photographs available for browsing. If the address has a timeline of images, the page displays a small clock icon in the upper-left corner of the image. When you click the clock, the box opens to reveal the collection of past Street View photos.

Some of the photographs used to create the Street View feature may be a few years old, but Google does periodic updates. The Street View section of the company’s site has a map of geographic areas covered and a schedule indicating when certain locations around the world are due for another visit from the roaming Google 360-degree cameras.

Google began the Street View project about 10 years ago and has been steadily capturing panoramic scenes with special cameras mounted on cars, trolleys, adult tricycles and even a snowmobile. People wearing special “Trekker” backpacks rigged up with a mounted camera have collected imagery on foot — and the company even lends equipment to qualified volunteers wishing to borrow the gear and contribute.

Other types of cameras (including D.S.L.R.s, special 360-degree models and those found on smartphones) can also take Street View images. Google has free stand-alone Street View apps for Android and iOS for exploring the collection and publishing personal panoramas.

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