Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | 7:59 AM
(cross posted with the Google LatLong Blog)
In case you hadn't noticed, the Google Street View team has been busy photographing France, Italy, Spain, and Australia. Given the international focus of recent Street View launches, it's time we make Street View accessible on phones that are especially popular in those countries. We're excited to announce the availability of Google Maps for mobile version 2.3 with Street View on Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile. Street View was previously released on Google Maps for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone.
Street View lets you access street level imagery to help orient yourself when looking for places, businesses, or getting directions. Say you're going to meet with friends at an unfamiliar restaurant. Now you can search for it in Google Maps for mobile, click on "Street View", and see what the place and surrounding area look like. Similarly, say you need to get to a shop in a part of town you don't know. Find it using your phone, get directions to it, and see how to get there with full-screen panorama images of every step along the way.
While Street View is not yet available everywhere, we'll continue rolling out support across other geographies in the coming months.
Check out this demo of Street View (albeit on a BlackBerry) to get an idea of how things work:
Besides Street View, the new version of Google Maps for mobile also has a bunch of other new features: request walking directions (in addition to driving and public transit) to get anywhere on foot, receive transit alerts from participating public transportation authorities, and see what other people think of a place by reading reviews directly on your phone. We've also overhauled the entire user interface to make the app more responsive and easier to use.
So if you have a Nokia S60 or Windows Mobile smartphone, go ahead and download the new version of Google Maps by visiting google.com/gmm on your phone. Enjoy the (street) view!
by Flavio Lerda, Software Engineer