Geospatial AR experiences could be coming to Maps on Android

A view of Chicago on Google Maps running on a ThinkPhone by Motorola
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Following I/O 2024, Google is highlighting a few AR experiences on their way to Android.
  • Google Maps is picking up an "AR experience" button for Street View and more, giving users a chance to "simulate" an adventure through a city.
  • Google Arts & Culture is getting in on the AR fun by preparing a new experience through Paris for the 1900 Universal Exhibition.

AR features provided by Google are staring at some upgrades following its I/O 2024 event for Maps and more.

As detailed in a press release, Google Maps is adopting a pilot program that will increase the amount of AR content available to users. Specifically, geospatial AR content will be available on your Android device when using Street View or Lens in Maps.

To get started, Google states that users can discover AR content on maps by searching for a location. If the company features support for it, users can tap on "AR Experience" and lift their phones to view the surrounding area. What this experience does is let users roam around an area remotely. This is also said to extend to uses engaging in Street View.

There will be an option to share your AR experience with others in Maps by copying a deep link URL or quickly sending a QR code. This early pilot program is said to begin in Singapore before moving to Paris "later this year." Google states its pilot program in those areas will last for roughly six months.

Google's newly redesigned Arts & Culture app.

(Image credit: Google)

Google Arts & Culture is getting in on the geospatial AR experience as it partners with Rock Paper Reality. By taking a step back through time in Paris, Google states users can experience the Pavilions of the 1900 Universal Exhibition and visit locations like the Eiffel Tower on their phones. Through AR, Google adds that users can seamlessly and easily hear these past stories and "visit" these locations from comfort.

More updates are to come for these historical stories later this summer.

Google is extending its AR experience to the Singapore Tourism Board alongside its local partners. The company states users interested in engaging can go through Meril's Immersive Adventure to find new points of interest and "key" tourism spots around the city. Singapore's Chinatown and Gardens by the Bay are a tap away through its AR experience.

Users can roam around these beautiful areas in Singapore through Google Maps.

Lastly, there are a few geospatial updates Google is highlighting following I/O 2024. The first is an announcement for the Geospatial Creator in Adobe Zero, which is now available to all users. Developers can now begin creating their own "world-scale" AR experiences using the software today (May 15). The second update sees the expansion of support for ARCore Geospatial API coverage.

Google states it now covers India, bringing in more innovation and engagement. Geospatial AR technology is beginning its expansion on Android first, with the company teasing more updates to come.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.