Blast from the Past:
Google Street View offers a function that has remained hidden from me until now. The highlight of the feature: With it you travel back in time. Although only virtual, but without a flux compensator or space-time paradoxes.
What can Google Street View do? To put it bluntly: With Google Street View you can take a virtual stroll across Munich’s Marienplatz, take a look at Dresden Cathedral or stroll through the high-rise canyons in New York – all from the screen.
How does time travel work with Google Street View? The function, which many did not know before, is easy to call up. On the desktop PC, the function is triggered in a handful of steps:
- Enter the desired location in the Google search mask
- Select a street along the desired location with a mouse click. A window should now pop up at the bottom of the screen – including a preview image of the location (labeled with
street view). See picture 1.
street viewclickedyou are now in the – yes, right –
street view-Mode. That means you can march through the area in a 360-degree panorama.
- Now in
street viewmode arrived, you will find one in the top left view gray box. In this gray box is the clickable lettering
See latest date(in German:
see latest date). If you click on this, a picture gallery will appear at the bottom edge of the screen. See picture 2.
USA vs. Germany
However, there is a restriction for German users – because: In this country, the function can only be used to a very limited extent. But why? To illustrate this for you, I have taken on the three busiest train stations in Germany: the main train stations in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich.
I contrasted that with the three busiest train stations in the US: Penn Station in New York City, Washington Union Station in Washington, and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
Street view in Germany
The largest main train stations in Germany follow
Google Street View in numbers:
- Hamburg Central Station: The photos of the station square are dated March 2010. There are no newer or older recordings.
- Frankfurt Central Station: Here the photos of the station square are even dated July 2008. Jumping back or forward in time is not possible here either.
- Munich Central Station: A date: July 2008. No Google Street View available for the period before or after.
Street View made in USA
Coming up: The largest central train stations in the USA, again via
Google Street View – and again I let the numbers do the talking:
- Penn Station in New York: You jump back and forth on the timeline between the years: 2022, 2021, 2019, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2011 and 2009.
- Washington Union Station: You can select the years: 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007.
- 30th Street Station in Philly: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2007
Further handout: If you are looking for detailed instructions on how to call up the function via smartphone, for example, you will find it with colleague Nelson Aguilar from cnet.com a step-by-step breakdown.
What is your experience with Google Street View? Can you not only display your hometown, your hottest hotspot, your favorite holiday destination with Street View – can you also walk back along the timeline? Let us know what your itinerary looks like on Street View in the comments, whether geographically or chronometrically.