Wulf's Webden

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Google Time Machine

No, not (yet) that kind of time machine but Google has rolled out a new feature on its Maps service that allows you to roll back a few years. In the top left of the map view a small clock icon should appear although the rollout seems a bit intermittent; earlier today, I could see it on my Mac at work but not my laptop (same Google account logged in on both) although the laptop now also has the new feature.

It only reaches back as far as when Google first started photographing the streets but, even so, is interesting. For example, I can see enough of my front garden to trace its path from tidy but fairly plain (before we arrived) to its present, more organic state.

Who knows how long the feature or, indeed, Google will last? It would be fascinating to be able to travel back further but each year we move forward means, in effect, another year we can glance back.


  1. Rollout doesn’t seem to have reached North Wales yet. I wondered if it was only because the Google van had only ever been down my road once that it wasn’t giving me the time machine option for my house but I don’t seem to gett it for your house either (and the picture it gives me is one from June 2012. I’ll have to keep an eye on Google Maps and see if I get the time machine facility sometime soon. It certainly sounds quite interesting (especially because the picture for my house, which was taken in August 2009, shows blue gutters and they’ve been white since before I moved in a couple of years ago – there have definitely been quite a few changes).