Changing your perspective, once again...

Friday, July 9, 2010 at 10:11 AM


A few months ago we released a new type of aerial imagery to our users, first to the developer community through the Google Maps API, and then later as an experimental feature in Google Maps Labs. Today, we’re excited to announce the release of 45° imagery of select cities in the U.S. and worldwide to all users of Google Maps. As you may have guessed from the name, 45° imagery is imagery depicting a location from a 45° angle rather than from the top. This type of imagery allows you to explore the sides of buildings and other locations -- you can even rotate around a particular point of interest using the compass ring to view it from four different perspectives. To see the new imagery, simply zoom into an area while in Satellite mode. Where we have 45° imagery available, the imagery will switch from an overhead to 45° angle as you zoom all the way in. You can then pan smoothly across the map to get a richer view of the area. Here are a few of my favorite spots:

SeaWorld, San Diego, California:

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Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California:

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Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy:

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Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa:

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See below for a map of areas where 45° imagery is currently available.

View 45° Imagery on Google Maps in a larger map. 45° imagery is available for portions of the U.S., Europe and South Africa.

We think you will find this imagery particularly helpful when exploring a new area on the map before a visit. After checking out the landmarks from a new angle, it’s helpful to turn on existing map layers like Photos or Wikipedia to get more context on the area. Even when looking at familiar areas, seeing driving directions overlaid on 45° imagery will give you a whole new understanding of the neighborhood. As we expand our coverage over the coming months, I hope you enjoy this new perspective on the world.