Google Maps is getting this new 'immersive' view. Here's why it might be useful

Google Maps is getting this new ‘immersive’ view. Here’s why it might be useful

Image: Stephanie Condon/ZDNET

If you’ve ever searched for a restaurant on Google Maps, you might have an idea of ​​the menu and decor.

But it can be difficult to anticipate what the dining experience will be like there. Will it be too crowded when you arrive? Does the lighting create the right atmosphere?

These are the kinds of questions Google is trying to answer with its new “immersive view” feature in Google Maps.

The new feature, announced last yearwill be rolled out in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo on Tuesday.

In the coming months, it will be launched in other cities, including Florence, Venice, Amsterdam and Dublin.

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Using AI, the feature merges billions of Street View and aerial images, creating a rich “immersive view” of the world. It uses Neural Radiation Fields (NeRF), an advanced AI technique, to create 3D images from ordinary images. This gives the user an idea of ​​the lighting of a place, the texture of materials or elements of context, such as what is in the background.

Image: Google

Google will soon expand the Search with Live View in Maps to more places in Europe, including Barcelona, ​​Madrid and Dublin. Additionally, Indoor Live View expands to more than 1,000 new airports, stations and shopping malls in various cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Prague, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, São Paulo and Taipei. .

Maps also gets new features for electric vehicle drivers. The platform will show you places that have on-site charging stations and help you find chargers of 150 kilowatts or more.

Google is also stepping up ways to explore the world with Lens, the AI-powered tool that lets users search for images from their camera or photos. First released in 2017, people already use Lens more than 10 billion times a month, Google said.

With multi-search using Lens, users can search using text and images at the same time. Just a few months ago, Google launched “multisearch near me” to take a picture of something (like a specific meal) and know where to find it locally. In the coming months, Google has announced that it will be rolling out “multisearch near me” in all languages ​​and countries where Lens is available.

Multiple search also extends to images on the web on mobile. Additionally, Google is bringing “search on your screen” with the Lens feature to Android. Users will be able to search for photos or videos on their screen, no matter what app or website they are using, without leaving the app.

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Google Translate is also getting an update. Among other things, the tech giant shared on Wednesday that the tool will provide more context for translations. For example, it will tell you if words or phrases have multiple meanings and help you find the best translation. This update will begin rolling out to English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish in the coming weeks.

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