Google Street View gives you the power to explore the world in the palm of your hand. The app, created by Google, is available as a free download straight to your mobile device either from Google Play or the App Store. As an extension to Google Maps, the user now has the power to pick a section of street or a point of interest and take a look at that location like they were standing there.
To use Google Street View, start by opening up Google Maps. Once the app is opened, tap and hold your finger somewhere on a street where you would like to visit, or select a place like a business and then tap the bar at the bottom of the screen. Among reviews, hours of operation, and other information that is brought up, there will be an image that says “Street View.” Tap on that and your screen should change to the street-level image, where you now have the option to explore for yourself and even navigate in different directions.
The benefits of Google Street View are plain and simple: who wouldn’t want to take a virtual tour across the world without needing to stand? The app gives the user the freedom to explore the world in a way like never before. One of the best features of Google Street View is the app’s seamless and logical integration into Google Maps. This means the next time you are looking up a new restaurant or a spot to vacation, you can really explore it out without ever leaving your home.
For such a useful application, the drawbacks are very few. While many of the world’s streets have been mapped, you will almost certainly run into some areas that are outdated, spots that you can’t see, and some streets that you just cannot visit yet. However, this is becoming less of an issue as Google’s Street View coverage continues to expand and grow, updating old images and adding many more. As of 2016, most of the cities and suburbs of the U.S. and several other countries are mapped extremely well and continue to update and grow every day.