Google Maps Takes NY
OK, OK… So it isn’t NYC-specific, but Google has added an AWESOME feature to their already very helpful Google Maps program. Now, in addition to being able to view plain maps, satellite views, and even traffic patterns, the massive interactive giant has implemented a new feature that allows users to actually view street-level images!
Here is an example of the new feature, in the form of a “street view” of the intersection of 50th Street and 6th Avenue. This image was taken as if you were in the center of the intersection, facing east toward Radio City Music Hall. You will notice that you can easily zoom in (although the resulting image becomes blurry), and you have 360-degree pan ability. You can also click on the arrows on the street to go to another image further down the road.
It is pretty simple to use. Just go to Google Maps, and type in the destination you want to view. Once there, click the “Street View” button, and you will see some streets get a blue outline. Just drag the little yellow man into the area you want to view, and the rest should be intuitive. This is a limited roll-out, so not all areas are available… But much of Manhattan can be viewed, as well as a fair chunk of the major routes in the outer boroughs.
This launch appears to be in response to the impending launch of MSN Live’s powerful yet apparently cumbersome similar feature.