Before I take a trip, I spend hours on Google Street View getting familiar with the destination, in the hopes that when I arrive I’ll have the familiarity of a native. This works out pretty well, so I love any tool that automates navigating GSV. The creative team of Geoff Teehan and Jon Lax have taken Street View automation to a whole new hyperlapse level (see examples in the above video).
Hyper-lapse photography—a technique combining time-lapse and sweeping camera movements typically focused on a point-of-interest—has been a growing trend on video sites. It’s not hard to find stunning examples on Vimeo. Creating them requires precision and many hours stitching together photos taken from carefully mapped locations. We aimed at making the process simpler by using Google Street View as an aid, but quickly discovered that it could be used as the source material. It worked so well, we decided to design a very usable UI around our engine and release Google Street View Hyperlapse.
You can use their tool to create your own hyperlapse of GSV. For example, here’s one I made in a few seconds that follows the path of a hike I took last summer over the Golden Gate Bridge while visiting San Francisco.