Google Maps

Google Street View is a great way to see a map from a first-person perspective. You can use this to help find an address, do a bit of virtual sightseeing, or use historic Street View data to travel back in time.

How to View Old Street View Images

Google will refresh its Street View data every few years in many areas, and you can see older Street View imagery using the desktop version of Google Maps. To do this, head to maps.google.com in a web browser on a computer (This won’t work on a smartphone.).

Now, bring up Street View by clicking and dragging the Street View icon (pictured below) and then releasing it while hovering over a street or road. You can also click on a location and then click again on the Street View thumbnail that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Google Street View Click and Drag Button

To view historic Street View imagery, look at the top-right corner of Google Maps. If older Street View imagery is available, you’ll see a clock icon with a downward arrow in this box.

View Old Street View Imagery

Click on the arrow to see images taken by Street View teams in the past. You can click and drag the slider to move backward and forward through time. You can move around and change perspective and the view will update in real-time. Click on a captured image to see it in full-screen.

Drag the Slider to See Old or New Street View Images

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To get back to present-day Street View, drag the slider all the way to the right and click on the image again.

Some Areas Are Better Served Than Others

Google Maps as a service has some of the best (if not the best) coverage in the world, with an ever-expanding cache of Street View data. Where you live ultimately decides how much historical Street View data you’ll have available to you.

The streets around Mountain View in California, where Google is based, have Street View data dating back to 2007 when the service first launched. Many cities and routes were added in the following years, although much of the imagery from the late 2000s is low resolution compared to modern Street View data.

If you don’t see the clock icon with a drop-down arrow while in Street View, it means that you’re looking at the only pass that the Street View team has made.

No Historical Street View Data Available

Do More with Google Maps

Google Maps is an amazing resource, whether you’re planning a trip or bored on your lunch break. You can use it to create your own custom maps or plan a road trip with multiple destinations, and you can access it all on your smartphone.

You can even use it to keep track of your friends and family.

RELATED: How to Find Your Family and Friends Using Google Maps

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Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He's invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf.
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