Google’s Street View is an incredibly helpful tool, especially for those navigating in unfamiliar territory. It (literally) gives users a better picture of what an area on a map looks like. Now, in its latest test, Google is letting some users capture and upload Street View imagery without using one of the company’s 360-degree cameras.
Update: Google is now rolling this feature out to everyone.
The new feature, called Driving Mode, has appeared for some users in the side menu of Google’s Street View app. Once you select the feature, it appears to be ready for users to capture Street View data using their device’s camera. It may even be able to blur out sensitive information, like license plates and faces by default.
The feature is great for those who live in rural areas not yet documented by Google Street View. However, it’s unclear what exactly will happen to the gathered data. Google may be manually reviewing imagery before allowing it to go live, as well. It’s also unknown how widely the company will roll out this feature in this test, or if it will become a standard feature.