Saturday, April 02, 2016
Showing City Improvements with Street View
Brazilian design collective URB-I have struck upon a brilliant use for the historical Street View imagery available in Google Maps. They are using before and after shots from Street View to showcase improvements in street design made by city planners around the world.
URB-I's Before and After includes examples of places across the globe where public spaces have been transformed from car-oriented to pedestrian friendly locations. To illustrate these changes in street design they simply use Street View images from Google Maps taken before and after the redesign.
Google first added historical imagery to Google Maps back in April 2014. Unfortunately the Google Maps API doesn't provide a direct way to access this historical imagery. If you use the API to present a Street View panorama of a location the API always default to show the most recent Street View panorama.
However it is possible to force the API to show an historical Street View image. If you use the panoID method to show a Street View panorama you can use the panoID of an historical Street View panorama to ensure that it is displayed (the panoID can be found in the URL link for the Street View on desktop Google Maps).