In a new feature for its desktop maps announced on its blog yesterday, Google’s Street View imagery will now allow users to check out historical imagery from past collections, in essence creating something like a “digital time capsule of the world,” as Google calls it.
For example, here’s the construction over the years of New York City’s Freedom Tower, or on a more somber note, you can view how natural disasters have wreaked havoc on landmarks in places like Japan after the 2011 earthquake, and how those spots are recovering now.
Again, you won’t be able to go back and make sure your parents kiss a the Under the Sea dance in order to preserve your own existence, because Google didn’t have a Street View car at that time anyway, but it could be pretty neat to see how all the old, interesting spots in your town have turned into a Starbucks. Or depressing, really. Either way, time travel!