April 29, 2008
Feeling like you should take that left turn at Albuquerque but not sure what the intersection looks like? Google on Tuesday added Street View to its Google Maps driving directions.
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The addition of Street View to Google Maps driving directions gives users a clear picture of which way to turn on their route. Driving directions and Street View have been separate features of the search engine's Google Maps site. By combining them, Google said users can now get a better picture of their route alongside turn by turn information. Users simply click camera icons to get photos of the route along with an arrow showing which way to go. At the end of the line, the last view is a green marker that shows you've arrived. "By viewing Street View images alongside directions, drivers have visual context for intersections and action points along their route, enabling them to be aware of landmarks and other factors such as tolls, speed limits, size of the road, and the availability of parking at their destination," Google said in a statement. The service is currently running, but only available in cities and streets currently covered by Street View. Google started out mapping its Street View feature in five cities back in May 2007. Since that time the 360-degree street-level imagery is available in 44 regions across the country. The company is expected to send out more of its special image-capturing vans out this year to cover more of the country. As an added bonus, Google said Web 2.0 developers can add Street View to their own software and services, as the company recently made its Google Maps API available to the software community.
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