Guide to using Google Maps Immersive View – a virtual journey through a 3D world
November 27, 2023

Guide to using Google Maps Immersive View – a virtual journey through a 3D world

Announced earlier this year, the new Google Maps Immersive View feature uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to create 3D images from plain images of various landmarks, restaurants and other popular buildings. Along with all the existing options on the Google Maps application, it further facilitates navigation and allows you to explore places in distant destinations.

Google Maps Immersive View option uses AI to combine billions of its Street View and aerial images to create a 3D model of the world. It provides a multi-dimensional experience, allowing you to see bike lanes, sidewalks, intersections and more in advance.

Although the name may resemble Google’s AR maps feature called Live View, the new feature works differently. Live View uses your phone’s camera to help you stay on track, while Immersive View allows you to virtually fly over a location to get more insight into the traffic and congestion on a stretch of road.

Also, one of the key differences between these two functions is the ability of the new one to “see into the future”. Namely, Google Maps Immersive View has a “weather slider” (slider) that allows you to see how a certain location looks on different good days or in different meteorological conditions.

In this way, Google Maps with a new function allows users to visualize their route in 3D before the start of the journey, including traffic jams. However, as it was announced at this year’s Google I/O conference, the new option will initially support only 15 major world cities, starting this month, and then it should be extended to others. These cities include: Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tokyo and Venice.

Until the function reaches cities like Belgrade, the AndroidPolice portal has prepared a guide for using this function, which you can currently use to explore any of the 15 mentioned cities. You can use the new function on both Android and iOS devices, and below we show how to use the function on Android phones.

Turning on the Google Maps Immersive View option

  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Tap the search bar at the top and search for a landmark in one of the supported cities. For example, the Eiffel Tower.
  3. Tap the Immersive View tab in the pop-up menu at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Explore the location as you normally would on the Google Maps app and its Street View option.
  5. Tap the Time & Weather icon at the bottom to see what the location looks like at different times of the day.

This option also shows the weather forecast for the next few days. Move the slider at the bottom left or right to see how the landscape changes as the weather changes throughout the day.

In addition, the new feature allows you to tour individual facilities from the inside, but this is limited to only a few locations. When you are inside a building, you are given a joystick to navigate the place, and you need to move it up or down to move around.

How to use Immersive View while driving:

Immersive View on Google Maps shows you what your route looks like before you start your trip, including bike lanes, sidewalks, intersections, and parking. This feature is available for driving, walking and cycling directions. And of course, it also shows you what the traffic will look like at different times of the day, in addition to being able to show the current traffic situation.

Google has started rolling out this feature in 15 cities whose preview is supported and may not be available to all users yet. The rollout is likely to be phased, so some users may use the feature before others. In any case, if you happen to be in one of the mentioned 15 cities, you can use the application while driving as follows:

  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Search for your destination from the search bar at the top.
  3. Select your destination from the results and tap “Directions” in the lower left corner.
  4. Choose the mode of transport (driving, cycling or walking).
  5. If the Immersive View feature is available, you’ll see a launch button.
  6. View every step of your journey at the touch of a button, and the option may take a little time to load as it is streamed from the cloud. If you still don’t see the option to run, check back later.

While Immersive View seems like a great feature that can make it even easier to navigate or explore new places, its limited availability is a bit disappointing. However, until the option reaches every user, Street View can serve as a solid alternative to Google Maps Immersive View and is available for more locations. If you need a precise representation of the location, satellite images on Google Maps are there as another replacement option.