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By 6 September 2017 | Categories: news

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Google has made a fairly significant change to its Street View platform. The company recently announced, via a report from Wired, that its cameras are receiving an overhaul, which is the first time it has done so in eight years. The upgrade will come in the form of a new rig, attached to the top of cars as previous iterations were, and yield clear images with higher resolutions, according to Google.

The company has also been able to up the quality of pictures, while decreasing the number of cameras required on the latest rig. To that end, it will sport seven cameras with 20 MP sensors, down from the 15 cameras required previously. Along with the hardware improvements, Google is embedding its machine learning software into the new rig as well. Based on what Wired has reported, the algorithms within the Street View rig will capture images and immediately be able to detect content. This will include things like street names, building numbers, as well as smaller details like store operating hours, if listed outside the retail space.

All of this info will be automatically uploaded to the Google Street View database, and in the future could make Google Maps (which Street View is a feature within) more intuitive. Illustrating an example to Wired, Google Maps' Jen Fitzpatrick, says one could ask the application questions like, "What’s the name of the pink store next to the church on the corner?”  

For now Google has not said when the new Street View cameras will be rolled out, so it may be some time until users will be able to ask questions like the one above. Nevertheless, it's an important step forward for the company.

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