Google has added an unobtrusive clock image to the bottom right corner of its Maps portal. Upon clicking it, users can pan through past street views, and in an incredible homage to time travelers everywhere, the yellow Street View figure takes on the likeness of Doc Brown.
To create street views, specially outfitted Google cars snap 360-degree images at regular intervals, all of which require significant storage space on Google's servers. Booming locales such as New York and Singapore demand regular visitations by these vans to keep up with rapid construction and to offer visitors accurate information, but off-the-beaten-path locations will probably have to depend on local historical societies to memorialize themselves.
This feature comes in the wake of the Timelapse collaboration with Time and NASA, introduced last summer. Through Timelapse, users can appreciate some of the most drastic shifts in landscape since 1984, including the draining of Lake Powell and the zealous climb of Dubai's skyscrapers.
No word on when Google will introduce the ability to watch time lapses of future construction.