Travel back in time with Doc Brown and Google Maps!
Last year, Google Maps introduced a feature that lets you time travel in Street View to see how a place has changed over the years. And instead of the yellow faceless pegman as your map guide, Back to the Future‘s Doc Brown takes his place. Even though the feature has been around since April 2014, what better way to celebrate Back to the Future Day than to travel back in time?
Here’s how it works: Search for a location. Once you’ve entered a place, drag the pegman onto the map to activate Street View. In the map display on the bottom left of your window, you’ll see Doc Brown instead of the pegman.
Click the clock icon on the top left of the map, then you can drag the slider to change the years. Hit the magnifying glass above the slider to transform the Street View to the chosen year.
You can watch the video above to see it in action. You’ll notice that in the video the pegman changes to Doc Brown as you’re placing him on the map, but it doesn’t really work like that. We reached out to Google to find out if it’s a glitch.
Keep in mind not every place has multiple time layers. I entered my childhood home address and could only see it in the years 2007 and 2014. Some locations, like the 1 World Trade Center, show the change over the course of multiple years since 2007. If the location you’ve entered has the time travel feature, the clock icon will appear.
“This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history, like the reconstruction after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan,” according to the company. “You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter.”