In keeping with their aim to make information available to all, at all times, Google has now added another feature to their repertoire. Street Views on Google Maps will now be accessible to mobile phone users.
To start with, this service will only be accessible on BlackBerry and some Java enabled phones, but they hope to bring this technology to other handsets in the near future.
Google Maps for Mobile will now be capable of the same level of imagery as the desktop version, i.e. it will show a 360 degree view of the point in question.
This new feature will help users to pinpoint the exact location of a shop, restaurant, office theatre etc. when they are on the go in an unfamiliar location. All they need to do is click on “Street View” on their mobile phone. They will then be able to see the appropriate street with all details in it, so there is no chance of missing the store, restaurant etc. and having to run around in circles. Even tourists should now have no difficulty going around a new town with the help of this service.
There is also a section here that gives detailed information about bus, train and ferry services to and from different locations along with the fares and timings of the local transport available.
It will be possible to use Street View from any location for which photography is available to Google. It is also possible to click on the map, and select Street View. Street View can be seen on the full screen or as an overlay on the map. The view can also be rotated to see the surrounding area from different angles as one proceeds along the road.
Another feature that Google has incorporated is ‘business reviews’, which will allow users to check whether or not a shop actually sells what the user is looking for, before making a trip down there.
It is also possible to go from one place to another on foot, following the walking directions which have been incorporated. (this feature is presently in beta.)
Google has also increased the speed of these search operations and improved the accuracy of location of a place, under their MyLocation feature. According to Brighthand.com, the MyLocation feature will work best in thickly populated places, which will obviously have more cellular towers, thus improving the cell tower triangulation on the user’s smartphone.
The latest version of Google Maps for mobile can be accessed at google.com/gmm.