Google has added the much-requested time stamp feature to images found on its Street View mapping service so users can see how recent the images of that area are.
Street View users can now see the month and the year shown at the bottom left hand corner of each image on the site, which represents when the photo was taken.
“Professionals such as historians, architects, city planners and tourism boards—as well as regular users including travelers and home-buyers—can now get a sense of how fresh the online photos are for a location that interests them,” said Google Street View Senior Product Manager Kei Kawai.
In most areas around the globe, the scenery won’t change significantly year after year but in the event of a life-changing natural disaster such as the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, local communities can be transformed into rubble in the blink of an eye.
Before and after images can be extremely useful for researchers and scientists who want to study the effects of natural disasters, and Google has created a dedicated site for people who are interested in seeing how life-changing the tragic events were for people living in the affected areas.
Kei Kawai said, “after driving more than 44,000 kilometers through the affected regions, 360-degree panoramic imagery of those areas is now available through the
. The images can also be viewed via a special website called “
,” where you can easily compare before and after shots of the towns changed by these events.”