Google Maps’ new immersive view looks like Street View but in the sky

An intriguing new feature has been added to Google Maps to explore certain cities as if you were a bird flying in the sky.

Dubbed Immersive View, the feature uses Google’s satellite images and its Street View shots to create a computer-generated 3D model of a location.

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“We’re able to merge them so we can actually understand, okay, these are the heights of the buildings,” said one of Google’s vice presidents of engineering, Liz Reid. “How can we combine that with Street View? How can we combine that with an aerial view to create something that makes it look like you were there?”

Google says Immersive View will work on just about any phone and device and will initially launch in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. More cities are “coming soon,” the tech giant confirmed in a blog post.

“Are you looking for a place to have lunch? Swipe down to street level to explore nearby restaurants and see useful information, like live activity and nearby traffic,” added Miriam Daniel, VP of Google Maps. “You can even look inside to quickly get a sense of the vibe of the place before you book your reservation.”

Besides, the Google Maps eco-routing option has also been introduced in the United States and Canada. This navigation mode allows users to select the most fuel-efficient route, helping them save money on fuel and reduce emissions. Google says the mode has already been used to travel 86 billion miles overseas and saved more than half a million metric tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of retiring 100,000 cars of the road.

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