Back in 2007, Google released a new feature to their Maps tab on  It was called street view and you had the ability to zoom all the way in on buildings at street level.  You can see everything including people walking on the streets and traffic and weather as well.

They accomplished this by using special vehicles equipped with very large and tall cameras that sat on top of the car.  These cameras took a 360 degree image of it's surroundings every so often (I would imagine once every 50 feet) to give the viewer a pure street view of... lets say Boston.

Since 2007, Google has been searching for the next best thing to give the viewers of Google Street View, they might have come up with it.

Of course a lot can change in 7 years.  Renovations, updates as well as natural disasters.

Sean Gallup GettyImages
Sean Gallup GettyImages

Featured in the Messenger Inquirer this morning was a story about what Google has coming up.  The virtual time traveler called look-back.  On the front page of the "Link" section Tuesday morning there was an image of a building that was photographed by the Google car several years ago.  And since it was last photographed it has been updated, painted and completely re-done.  It was an old theater that has been updated to a new theater.  The sidewalk and street has been updated as well.  This new feature Google Maps has released will let the user click on a stop watch icon to see what a particular place in the world looked like in the past (up to 2007) when photo's were first taken.

"As time goes by, many of these images are going to become vintage.  We want our maps to be comprehensive as we build a digital mirror of the world."  Google product manager Vinay Shet said.

Google declined to say how many pictures are already in Street View, which spans 55 countries.  The look-back feature will be available in all bot three of those countires:  Germany and Switzerland and South Africa.

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