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Google Maps getting 'Immersive View' to explore cities in breathtaking 3D

google maps immersive view 3d aerial shot of london
(Image credit: Google)

Update: Google Maps is bringing one of the best desktop features to mobile

Google Maps is about to make it even easier to check out new places. A new “Immersive View (opens in new tab)” has just been announced at Google I/O 2022 (opens in new tab), and is set to arrive  later this year. It promises to give users the chance to explore a 3D-rendered version of big cities from within the Google Maps app.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s not that dissimilar to Apple Maps’ Flyover feature. The principle seems to be pretty much the same, letting you fly around a big city as if you were actually there. But there’s one thing Apple doesn’t have: the ability to view 3D models of interior locations.

google maps immersive view interior

(Image credit: Google Maps)

But rather than using drones to fly around mapping restaurants or shopping malls, Google has put these together using neural rendering. That means Google is able to generate these 3D models of real locations from a collection of static photos.

That’s pretty amazing, when you think about it. You can head onto Google Maps, looking for a place to eat, and get a feel of what it’s like to be inside.

Immersive View will also be able display useful information, including live traffic and how busy specific locations are.

Google maps immersive view 3d gif

(Image credit: Google)

Details on the launch of this feature are pretty scarce right now. All Google revealed was that Immersive View will be rolling out in “select cities” later this year. So far London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo are included. We expect other major world cities will follow.

Google also revealed that eco-friendly routing, which is designed to improve your gas mileage, will be rolling out to more locations across the world — including Europe.

There’s plenty more happening at Google I/O 2022, and you can follow the news as it happens over on our Google I/O 2022 live blog.

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.