New StreetView Renderer For Google Maps API
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 26 August 2016

A new street view renderer has been added to the Google Maps JavaScript API with improvements aimed particularly at apps for mobile devices.

One way the rendering has been improved is through the inclusion of more animation frames so the view appears smoother as it changes location. The renderer has also been changed in the way it loads new content to avoid the view stuttering. Lower resolution imagery is used while views are loading so the animation can be smoother overall.

Objects are also treated differently by the new renderer. Behind the scenes it now builds a 360-degree model that considers all possible perspectives, so that as the object is viewed from different angles it remains more consistent.

If the browser being used to view the image supports it, the new renderer uses WebGL to provide a higher frame rate and better rendering, especially on mobile devices. According to a post about the new renderer on the Google Geo Developers blog: 

"On mobile devices, the old renderer would display a fish-eye projection of the image, whereas WebGL allows us to present a rendered sphere that looks as it would in reality."

The images below show a rendered view in the old and new renderer

webgl before


webgl after


Touch support is another aspect to have been improved for mobile users. The new renderer supports the same touch-based gestures on mobiles that are supported in 'standard' Google Maps on Android, so users can pinch to zoom and double-tap to go. The old version of the renderer required users to zoom using the +/- buttons, and to move by clicking the arrows on the ground.

The final improvement for mobile apps is motion tracking. The new API supports device orientation events on Street View so that users on mobile devices can look around in Street View by moving their phone.


More Information

Google Geo Developers Blog 

Related Articles

New Google Maps API  

Bing Maps Adds Spatial Maths Geometry

Google Places Now On Android

Getting Started With Google Maps

Google Maps API Libraries For Java And Python


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Last Updated ( Friday, 26 August 2016 )