App of the Month – Google Street View

The App for August is Google Street View.

padlet logoGoogle Street View logo

What is it?

Google Street View is a feature that allows 360 views of a landscape. The feature is integrated with Google maps on desktop. It is also a mobile app that allows you to experience 360 with VR on devices like Google Cardboard. The app also allows you to create your own 360 image to share.

Google street view of the Nitobe Garden in UBC:

Why this app?

Google Street View can be a great way to engage students during their geographic, historical or social science lectures. Not only is it a strong visualization tool, it can also be used as an engaging way to tell a story. By using Google Street view, students have the opportunity to explore, collaborate and share images around the world.

How does it work?

View through Google maps on Desktop

  1. Go to https://www.google.ca/maps
  2. Type in the area you want to look into in the search bar
  3. Click on the ‘yellow man’ icon in the bottom corner to access street view
  4. Blue lines will show up on the map, indicating where you can view in street mode. Click on them to go into street view mode

Google street view preview

View on mobile

  1. Download the Google Street View app on your mobile device
  2. Log in with your Google account
  3. Click on the “Explore” and search your place of interest
  4. Click on the panoramic button to have a 360 view/li>
  5. Or click on the “Google Goggles” icon for an immersive experience using your VR headset

What next?

Visit the Google Street View page on the Scarfe Digital Sandbox to see how to create and share your own 360 image and get a free lesson plan on how to introduce students to Google Street View.

This is a 360 view of the area between the UBC Rose Garden and Flag pole taken by TC Tech Coach, Wendy Zhang:

How is it used?

Use Google Street View to introduce virtual tours and field trips to students. Explore landmarks or cultural spots without having the leave the classroom. Start the conversation in the classroom and then have a virtual scavenger hunt or race in the designated area.
Alternatively, teach the students how to take 360 images and have them take 360 images of a local landmark to share to the class. This way, you can connect their online to offline experience.

For a full immersive experience, integrate VR headsets such as the Google Cardboard. If there are a limited number of equipment, you can have a student on the VR headset while projecting what they see on a larger screen for the rest. Ask the rest of the class to ‘guide’ the student immersed in the virtual space.

What do you think?

Tell us if you like this app, or if you don’t, tell us what app you use instead. Figured out another way of integrating the app into learning? Tweet us @UBC_ETS! We’d love to hear from you.