How to See Archives Within Google Street View

1 minute read
| Quick Tip

Remember back in the day when we all were really excited by Google’s Street View? Yeah, that was a long time ago in tech years, wasn’t it? Maybe we can all party like it’s 2009.

Still, there’s a little-known feature of Street View that I think is really cool to this day—it’ll let you view the archives (if any) of the Street View captures for an area. So you can see what a place looked like in 2008, say, and then watch its growth over the years. But because it’s Google, this is all controlled through a really teeny non-obvious button. No offense, Google, but you know my joke hits the mark there, right? In any case, here’s what you’ll do to check this out!

Start by opening the browser of your choice and visiting maps.google.com. When you get there, type in the address or business you’d like to view within the search box, like so:

Searching for a Place on Google Maps

When you do that, you’ll see Google’s so-called Pegman down near the bottom of your window.

Pegman in Google Maps

Pick him up and drag him onto your map where you’d like to check out the Street View, as I’m doing here.

Dragging Pegman on Google Maps

Then Google Maps should drop you into Street View, but the magic is this: If an archive of captures is available for your location, you’ll see a small clock appear after a moment or two on the controls at the upper-left corner:

History Button in Google Maps

Click the clock, and you’ll get a timeline with white pips indicating the available archived captures.

History of Place in Google Maps Street View

Select one of the pips to see the thumbnail of the archived version…

Pips in Archive for Google Maps Street View

…and if you want to see that version full-screen instead, click on its thumbnail in the box to expand it out to the size of your window. It’s pretty nifty to be able to page through many years for a particular location! Funny that the parking lot of my favorite coffee shop still looks exactly the same, except it’s busier these days. But I coulda told you that.

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of