Google Maps has long given us a quick and easy way to explore the world without the hassle or costs of travel. Now, Google Maps lets you travel back in time at some of your favorite virtual vacation spots.
Google announced today, April 23, that Google Maps Street View for desktops will now allow users to travel back in time seven years and view places on the map from 2007 to the present. By clicking on the clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of a Street View image, you can move the slider through time and select a thumbnail to view the place as it was years ago.
With this time travel function, you will be able to see the rise and fall of infrastructure, landmarks and the landscape of different places. For instance, users can see the construction of the Freedom Tower in New York City and the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil. Or users can view Japan’s road to restoration in Onagawa through images from before and after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. You can also use the Google Maps’ time travel function for less historic travel, like simply enjoying the different seasons in a new or foreign place.
Google hopes to use these images to document the changes over the last seven years in locations across the globe, to create a “digital capsule of the world…[and] a digital timeline of recent history.”
Where and when will you next travel?
Images from Google