Immersive View is now rolling out for Google Maps in five global cities after the feature was first introduced across hundreds of notable landmarks last year. It combines billions of Street View and aerial images, allowing users to scope out neighborhoods as if they’re flying overhead and then drop down to street level for a closer look at areas of interest. The experience essentially resembles Google Earth but with Street View’s freedom to explore in more detail.
Immersive View was first announced in May 2021 and expanded in September last year to cover 250 global landmarks, including Tokyo Tower and the Acropolis of Athens. Today, the feature is rolling out to cover London, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Tokyo, with the Indoor Live View feature expanding to 1000 airports, train stations, and shopping centers.
Google spokesperson Pearl Xu confirmed to The Verge that the feature is available for Android and iOS, and that the company plans to bring it to desktop “over time.” Immersive View will also be released in more cities in the coming months, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, and Venice.
Immersive View can be used for things like planning trips to museums, parks, or activities, allowing users to virtually fly over buildings to locate entrances, check nearby traffic or parking, and view which areas tend to attract the largest crowds. There’s also a time slider that can be used to view a location at different times during the day and under predicted weather conditions. Users looking for nearby cafes or restaurants can take a look inside selective venues before they visit, with Immersive View transforming photographs with neural radiance fields (NeRF) — an advanced AI technique that generates a 3D rendered scene by mapping color and light from multiple still images from varying angles — to create explorable walkthroughs.
Update, February 8th, 1.30PM ET: Updated with clarification from Google that Immersive View is available on both iOS and Android.