Taking a Google Street View Time Warp Trip Through the Past

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-05-16 Email Print this article Print

Google Street View now allows online visitors to see photos taken over time in the same location by Google's special cameras since 2007. That means that users can now watch buildings being built, street scenes changing though the seasons and other differences as they compare the images over time. The 2007 starting point was set because that's when Google Street View cameras began capturing images around the world. Now by identifying locations where multiple time lapse images have been taken by Street View, Google is providing viewers with digital time capsules of sights around the world. Users can explore the new feature, which was introduced in April 2014, whenever they see a clock icon on the upper left corner of a Street View image. If the clock icon is present, users can click on it and then move the slider through time to see the images and compare them. Users can click on a thumbnail image to see the same place in previous years or seasons. In this slide show, join eWEEK to see intriguing views and scenic changes in New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

  • Taking a Google Street View Time Warp Trip Through the Past

    by Todd R. Weiss
    1 - Taking a Google Street View Time Warp Trip Through the Past
  • Freedom Tower, New York City

    In this image from September 2007, the planned Freedom Tower—the 104-story, 1,776-foot-tall structure being built near the footprints of the original World Trade Center towers—begins construction with site work (foreground) in lower Manhattan.
    2 - Freedom Tower, New York City
  • Tower Taking Shape

    By June 2011, the construction of the Freedom Tower is now showing more visible progress as the work is escalating above ground on West Street in Manhattan. The building's steel framework now towers over the site as work continues on upper floors.
    3 - Tower Taking Shape
  • Enclosed Tower

    Some six years after that first image from September 2007, the Freedom Tower is covered by its glass and metal exterior panels in this image from August 2013. The tower is being leased and is expected to open to the public by later in 2014.
    4 - Enclosed Tower
  • San Francisco Living

    The downtown intersection of Market, Fell and Polk streets in San Francisco is a bustling place, where in April 2007 the construction of a new apartment building, the Argenta, had already begun at One Polk Street.
    5 - San Francisco Living
  • Into the Sky

    Construction on the Argenta luxury apartments continues as the building rises higher in this image taken in April 2008.
    6 - Into the Sky
  • Leasing Begins

    By July 2009, work on the Argenta is being finished as leasing banners advertise the new property to potential residents. Newly planted trees on the street are small. On the left, a Broaster Café restaurant is still present.
    7 - Leasing Begins
  • Open for Living

    Residents are living in the Argenta by March 2011 when this latest image is captured. Notably, the Broaster Café on the left street corner is now shuttered, showing the changes that neighborhoods experience over time.
    8 - Open for Living
  • Progress

    Outside, the former Broaster Café has become Little Griddle Traditional American Eatery in this image taken in May 2012. The trees outside are also beginning to bulk up since they were planted. Note the unaltered cream-colored AAA building just behind the Argenta.
    9 - Progress
  • Nearby Reconstruction

    A block behind the Argenta, a reconstruction project on Fell Street shows the major changes being made on the old AAA building as its former façade is removed in preparation for replacement materials in this image from November 2013.
    10 - Nearby Reconstruction
  • Philadelphia Bridge

    The old South Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River in downtown Philadelphia is captured in this Street View image from July 2007. Soon, a new bridge and an innovative recreational project will follow.
    11 - Philadelphia Bridge
  • New Bridge

    By June 2011, the decrepit old South Street Bridge is now replaced with a modern new structure that will soon usher in more improvements in the urban Philadelphia neighborhood over the water.
    12 - New Bridge
  • Boardwalk Underway

    Federal, state and city funding is paying for an urban "boardwalk" project that is being built over Philadelphia's Schuylkill River to connect South Street to Locust Street. A special ramp that connects the South Street Bridge to the boardwalk is shown in an early construction phase in this image captured in July 2013. The boardwalk will be open to pedestrians, bicyclists, runners, fishing enthusiasts and street entertainers for recreation along the waterfront.
    13 - Boardwalk Underway

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