Investigative Tip: Date and Time on Google Maps Street View

Google Maps Satellite View and Street View have always been great tools for developing information relating to an address and the surrounding area.

One of the main drawbacks of both Satellite View and Street View, however, was the lack of information as to when the photo was taken.

Now you can get the image date for both Street View and Satellite View, although you will have to download a copy of Google Earth for the latter (it’s not available on Google Maps). This proved to be especially helpful in a recent case regarding trademark infringement. We found pictures of an awning that showed that a restaurant had been infringing on a trademark for years.

See the example above of a Street View image of One World Trade Center.

At the bottom left-hand corner is the copyright information, source of the image and the date it was taken: June 2011. With this new feature, you now have a better sense of timing and can compare the Street View picture with current photos to see changes, alterations or other important information.

Likewise, on Google Earth you can see in the lower left-hand corner the exact date the image was taken. It even has a “turn back the clock” feature where you can view historical satellite pictures older than 25 years in some cases. This feature has been available since February 2009.

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