Knowing the names of streets and general directions when you're going somewhere new is extremely helpful.
But being able to see your destination, and know what the area around it looks like, is even better. That's where Google Maps' street view feature comes in handy.
Here's how to use it on either the desktop or mobile version of Google Maps.
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How to get street view on Google Maps on your computer
For those on the desktop version of Google Maps, here's how to get to the street view option:
1. Go to maps.google.com.
2. Tap the search bar in the top-left corner of the screen and enter the name or address of the place that you want to view.
3. Click and hold the person icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen and drag it to the spot you want to view (as you move the cursor over the map, the streets will highlight in blue — make sure that you place the icon onto one of those, otherwise you won't be able to see the street view).
4. Release the cursor.
To navigate in street view, click and drag to change the camera angle, or tap a location down the street to move closer to it.
You can also use the curved arrows around the compass icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen to change the direction of the camera.
How to get street view on Google Maps on your phone
If you'd rather use the app to check out your destination, here's what you'll need to do:
2. Tap the search bar and enter the name or address of the place you want to view.
3. Tap the small photo box on the left side of the screen.
To navigate on the mobile version of street view, drag one finger across the screen, starting on the side you want to go toward and ending on the opposite side of the screen.
In addition, Google Maps just launched an augmented reality "Live View" feature to help you navigate while walking. For more information, check out our article, "Google Maps is getting a useful new feature that shows you which direction to walk in — here's how to use it."