Street View is an incredible tool built into Google Maps and also standalone. It allows you to plop down at almost any location in the world and look around with a 360° view to feel as though you’re really there. It was even better when viewed through Google’s ill-fated Daydream View headset. A new tip from Reddit user u/_-J-G-_ suggests that Google may soon let anyone with a phone contribute to mapping the world via Street View with a new feature called ‘Driving Mode’.
Instead of relying exclusively on Google’s Street View cars to map your neighborhood once every few years (if you’re lucky), you may soon be able to do it yourself using nothing but your own phone camera – no special 360° camera required. The Redditor states that the Street View app automatically blurred faces and license plates too!
I think those who will benefit most from this will be individuals living outside of cities in remote locations. I’ve heard from several people that Google doesn’t do a very good job of making it out their direction, so it looks like they’re resorting to crowdsourcing to cover more ground. Raise your hand if you think Google should pay users who contribute to Street View, just like they ought to pay users contributing to Crowdsource in Google Photos.
It’s unknown when and if this feature will release to the masses. How exactly it will be decided whose Street View footage will be used and how Google will use machine learning to stitch and overlap identical data from several users remains to be seen, but since they already do this themselves, it may be easier than we think. Details on exactly how Google expects users to make use of this feature is currently unknown, but given its name – ‘driving mode’ – I’m thinking that perhaps one will be required to place their phone in a mount and point it outward as they drive.