The Immersive Immersive View feature in Google Maps – which allows you to virtually explore landmarks – is finally getting a major update in five major cities around the world, which should make it easier to find your way around.
When the feature was announced at Google I/O 2022, Immersive View allowed people to virtually tour hundreds of landmarks, from the Tokyo Tower to the Acropolis of Athens. Using a combination of aerial and street imagery – along with some AI assistance – Immersive View can show you an accurate 3D model of a tourist spot, giving you an idea of the layout and size of the location. It can also provide data from Google Maps, including guest reviews, times when the location is typically busier and quieter, and what the weather is like.
While the immersive view was pretty cool, it was admittedly limited in scope. So we’re excited to see Google expanding this feature to cover five major cities around the world more broadly: London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo – ironically, the French capital is not on this list, despite an announcement made at the Google Live from Paris events.
Instead of taking a virtual aerial tour of just a few landmarks at these locations, you’ll be able to virtually explore the entire city. As time goes on, you’ll be able to gather useful information about major landmarks, but also about parks, restaurants, and other places you might want to visit.
The annoying thing is that even after this launch, Immersive View is still very limited. The world seems to have 10,000 cities (opens in a new tab) in it – so Immersive View currently covers 0.05% of them. Google plans to roll out the feature in four more cities – Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence and Venice – in the coming months, but it’s likely to be a few years before we can rely on it for every trip.
In addition to Immersive View, Google has also announced that a similar Live View feature will be rolling out to indoor spaces in Barcelona, Frankfurt, London, New York, Paris, Sydney, Taipei and other cities in the coming months.
Live View uses the camera on your Android or iOS phone to help you explore the city with a handy AR overlay. You can rely on floating arrows to guide you to your destination, and see detailed information about places you pass along the way if you want to stop for a bite to eat or shop.
Indoor Live View will let you do the same for museums, malls and airports while you navigate them from the inside. Google promises to help you find stairs and elevators, restrooms, and taxi ranks.
If you want to take advantage of the useful tools currently available in Google Maps, check out these five Google Maps features you may not know about.