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Google introduces ‘Create your own Street View’

Google has launched a new Street View feature that will allow users to create their own 360º virtual tours and add them to Google Maps.

The 360º images, known as photo spheres, can be linked to others to create a similar virtual tour experience that Google's Street View already offers.

"We are excited to see the different types of Street View experiences that everyone will contribute," Evan Rapoport, Product Manager of Google Maps, said in a blogpost. "For example, this feature can now enable environmental non-profits to document and promote the beautiful places they strive to protect.

"It also opens up a new tool for photographers to showcase diversity in a specific location -- by times of day, weather conditions or cultural events -- in a way that Street View currently doesn't cover."

Anyone with an Android phone or a Digital SLR camera is able to create the photo spheres, and depending on whether they are nearby Google's own panoramas, they can be connected to the existing web of Street views.

It is a step on from Google's Trekker backpack, which made its UK debut earlier this year. The Google Trekker allowed wearers to automatically capture views in remote locations in the same manner as Street View cars.

Google's latest announcement will boost its already comprehensive cartographic coverage of the world, and help make it the default map of choice for web users. As proof of its dominance in this sector, last year Google unveiled its first ever underwater Street View.