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You can now time-travel on Google Maps (sort of)


Google hasn't invented an actual DeLorean just yet, but a new update to its Maps web application will allow users to do a little bit of time traveling. The search giant's new time machine feature, which was unveiled today, allows users move a slider to see all the images Google's Street View cars have taken throughout the years of a single spot. While the images only go back in time a maximum of eight years, there are still plenty of drastic changes to be observed.

Recode picked out a few of the best locations for testing out this feature, including the impressive ascending heights of New York City's Freedom Tower and the widespread destruction and gradual rebuilding of Onagawa, Japan in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The new feature more than doubles the number of images that were previously accessible, notes Time.

"It's only been seven years," Vinay Shet told the magazine, "but it's amazing how many interesting changes we've found." --Jordan Valinsky