(WETM) – The Google Maps Street View feature launched 15 years ago, and since then it has amassed a truly huge amount of data, showcasing high-resolution, ground-level photos of roads all over the world.
But how often does Google update the Street View of a given location, and when will it come to the Twin Tiers?
The answer: not for a while.
According to a report from Business Insider, Google updates Street View images with priority given to major cities first, roughly once a year. Cities and regions with smaller populations may take about three years—or longer—to get new photos. You can find the date a Street View photo was taken by looking in the lower-left corner of the screen.
A simple search of local streets shows a wide range of dates the last photos were taken. In Elmira, for example, several downtown streets and West Elmira roads seem to be the most recent, with photos taken in 2018. Several other streets farther away from downtown haven’t been captured since at least 2013.
And more remote areas in the region, like Reading Center in Schuyler County or Lawrenceville in Tioga County, Pa. haven’t been photographed since 2008 and 2009, respectively. Other back roads in these remote regions don’t have Street View photos at all.
Google doesn’t announce exact dates of when the Street View car will visit your area, but it does keep a general list titled “Where we’re headed“, consisting of counties and cities it plans to photograph with the next year.
In New York, Google says it plans to visit several downstate and Capital Region counties sometime in 2022, Other upstate counties on the docket for 2022 include Erie, Monroe and Madison.
In Pennsylvania, the story is much the same. Most of the counties Google says it will visit in 2022 are near the Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas. The closest regions to the Northern Tier—which are still several counties away—include Jefferson and Schuylkill.
However, the list provided by Google isn’t concrete. The company has a note saying factors like weather and road closures can affect when and if the 360-degree camera vehicles operate.
“Please also be aware that where the list specifies a particular city, this may include smaller cities and towns that are within driving distance,” the note adds.
The Business Insider reported adds that even if Google does take new Street View photos, it might not use them if the current ones on the map are still accurate.