Google launches NZ Street View historical imagery

Kiwis can now go back in time to see how their streets and neighbourhoods are changing with the help of historical Street View imagery, a new feature of Google Maps.

Currently Google Maps shows post-quake street-level imagery for many parts of Christchurch. From today, people will also be able to see pre-quake imagery and compare how the city looked before and after.

The feature was announced at the Canterbury Museum by Anthony Baxter from Google’s Crisis Response team, who said the new imagery helps provide a digital archive of Christchurch.

“Buildings, roads and natural places have changed, in some cases dramatically, since the earthquake,” he says.

“We’ve had many requests for these images since the earthquake and we’re so glad we can now make them available.

“We hope these powerful images are useful to help people remember, plan and rebuild.”

Anthony Wright, Director of Canterbury Museum, says the historical Street View Imagery will allow people to explore the city’s geographic past.

“It’s an easily accessible visual record of Christchurch that enables us to step back in time and see our urban heritage in years gone by,” he adds.

“This new Google feature allows us to see how we have evolved in the past, and going forward it will be a great way of documenting the regeneration and rebuild of the City.”

Historical Street View imagery appears in Google Maps as a small clock in the top left hand corner of each Street View image for which Google has historical imagery. People can click on it and using a slider, move back and forth between different dates.

Google will continue to add new images to Street View over time, to help provide a more complete resource for the city. Christchurch residents can also help create a more complete digital mirror of Christchurch by uploading their own images using Google’s Photosphere feature.

Residents can also update any outdated information by clicking on Report a Problem in Google Maps – or by simply shaking their smartphone when they’re outside a point they want to update.

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