Google Maps launches immersive AI models of iconic Prague monuments

Photos and live data are used to show Prague Castle, Old Town Square and other sites as they would look in real time, including the weather. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.06.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 13.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Google has rolled out a new feature that allows users to explore Prague monuments in detail via a smartphone. Over 500 landmarks, including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and the National Museum, can now be explored via rotatable virtual models as part of Google Maps immersive view.

Using artificial intelligence, the immersive view combines billions of images to create a multi-dimensional view of the world. The three-dimensional rendering of venues includes dynamic lighting that adjusts based on the time of day and even simulates weather conditions such as sunshine, clouds, or rain.

In Prague, you can see virtual models of Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and the National Museum. The service is also available for select landmarks in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Venice, Las Vegas, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo.

If you’re planning a trip to Prague Castle, for example, you can familiarize yourself with the area before you visit.

“Just search for it in Google Maps and tap on the first video to virtually soar over the building and find places nearby. With the time slider, you can see what the weather will be like at different times of day and how crowded it will be so you can plan ahead,” Google said in a press release.

You can spread your fingers on the screen to zoom in and out, and tap within the model on highlighted areas to move in to see various eateries and other venues to help you get oriented. From the immersive view, you can switch to the standard street view and see the location from ground level.

When data is available, you can peek inside restaurants and cafes to help you decide whether you want to make a reservation — thanks to an advanced AI technique called neural radiance fields, or NeRF — which was developed at Google. This feature doesn’t seem to work yet for the Prague venues, but will likely come in the near future.

Google is also launching more features. You can track your trip progress with glanceable directions, which will start rolling out this month. This helps you easily track your trip progress right from your lock screen or route overview.

Once you opt in, you can request directions to your destination. You’ll see updated ETAs and where to make your next turn – information that was previously only available in comprehensive navigation mode. And if you decide to take another path, we’ll update your trip automatically. The feature will start rolling out globally this month for walking, cycling, and driving modes on Android and iOS.

Another new feature is Recents, which automatically organizes places you’ve researched into a highlight on the side of your screen. You can use it to create custom trips based on places you want to go.

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