Zoom photo navigation in Street View

Friday, July 24, 2009 at 3:35 PM


One of the missions of the Street View team is to help users navigate the world's geographically located photos. We have just launched Street View Smart Navigation which provides 3D navigation between Street View panoramas. We have also recently added the option to browse user-contributed photos that match Street View images. Now we're bringing these concepts together to make it easier to explore photos through Street View.

For example, our Street View car has captured a nice shot of Big Ben:
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However, our Panoramio users have uploaded an impressive variety of shots of Big Ben taken from different angles, at different times of day, and zoomed into different regions. To link all these images into Street View, we are launching a new feature that lets you navigate between similar user-contributed photos, which is especially useful when one photo is a zoomed-in region of another. Perhaps the best way to explain a photo feature is to show you some images -- take a look at the following sequence:



When an image is first shown in the photo viewer, a small set of the zoom polygons are shown indicating that there are close-up photos available to explore:
Subsequently, moving the mouse around in the window highlights the best polygon near the mouse location. Similar to the smart navigation feature, double clicking on the shaded rectangle jumps you to the corresponding photo. After one or more jumps, the back button appears next to the photo title to give you the option to move back through the selected sequence of photos. We've put together a quick demo video so you can see it in action before trying for yourself:

We hope that this new feature will allow you to explore a large diversity of photos in an entertaining and intuitive way!