A small independent unit within Teehan+Lax tasked with exploring the creative use of technology in the digital channel has come up with a pretty neat invention called Google Street View Hyperlapse. As the name suggests, the app builds a time lapse animation using Street View imagery that’s rather impressive.

The initial goal of the project was to use Street View as an aid to make hyper-lapse photography easier but the team quickly discovered that it could be used as the source material instead. From there, Labs created a usable UI around their engine and release Google Street View Hyperlapse.

Users can view predetermined routes or create their own with a starting and stopping point. The settings on the site are purposely low to enable greater accessibility. For example, animations are limited to a maximum of 60 frames although the source code is available on Github for anyone that wants to toy with higher frame rates, better image quality and additional camera movements.

I tested the application and quickly realized that it’s best to map out short trips due to the limited number of frames. Furthermore, the only serious drawback I found is that the animation zips by way too fast. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any way to slow it down – just an option to press the spacebar to stop it completely. This seemed to be a common complaint among users in the comments section and with any luck, Labs will address this in a future update.