Google Street View Car From California on Hollywood Avenue
When we first started Street View as an experimental project, we packed several computers into the back of an SUV, stuck cameras, lasers, and a GPS device on top, and drove around collecting our first imagery. We’ve come a long way since our initial U.S. launch in 2007; today we’ve expanded our 360-degree panoramic views to include locations on all seven continents.
First off we need to actually drive around and photograph the locations to show in Street View. We pay close attention to many factors, including the weather and and the population density of various areas, to determine when and where can collect the best possible imagery.
To match each image to its geographic location on the map, we combine signals from sensors on the car that measure GPS, speed and direction. This helps us reconstruct the car’s exact route, and even tilt and realign images as needed.To avoid gaps in the panoramas, adjacent cameras take slightly overlapping pictures, and then we "stitch" the photos together into a single 360-degree image. We then apply special image processing algorithms to lessen "seams" and create smooth transitions.
How quickly the car’s three lasers reflect off surfaces tells us how far a building or object is, and enables us to construct 3D models. When you move to an area in the distance, the 3D model determines the best panorama to show you for that location.
Early on Thursday morning, October 23, 2014, the Google Maps Street View Car was driving around the Chicagoland area mapping streets along the way. To my surprise, I was walking around town, when I saw the Google Maps Street View back out of a Chicago alley onto Hollywood Avenue, mapping the alleyway and the traffic along Hollywood Avenue off the Lake Shore Drive in the Edgewater area by Lake Michigan.
The Google Maps Street View Car from California is driving along the Chicagoland area filming street views. Be ready to be on Google Camera and Smile!