Google Maps’ Street View has always been known for its gorgeous and immersive 3D panoramic images, but now it looks like the feature is about to go 4D. A new Google Maps feature announced on Wednesday will give you the option to look at some locations’ entire histories in Street View so you can see how they’ve changed and evolved over the past few years. You can access this “way-back machine” for Google Maps by clicking on a new clock icon that appears on the lower left-hand side for some Street View images.
So for example, you can watch the construction of the Freedom Tower in New York as it happened or you can see how a communities have rebuilt themselves after being hit with an earthquake or other natural disasters.
“This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history,” Google writes. “You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter. Forget going 88 mph in a DeLorean—you can stay where you are and use Google Maps to virtually explore the world as it is — and as it was.”
Now we just need Google to come up with some way to warp space-time so we can get a glimpse at what things will look like in the future as well.