Google to keep pre-quake map
Using Google's street view for Christchurch has become much like a virtual walk down memory lane - and it seems likely to stay that way.
The search engine says it wants to retain the "history" of the city before the earthquakes when it updates street view here, as well as other places around the globe where the landscape has changed significantly after natural disasters.
Google Map park manager Nabil Naghdy said no timeline had been set for updating street view for Christchurch.
"When we update it, we want to have a way people can see Christchurch pre-quake," he said.
"It's a special case [and] we want to preserve the history."
Naghdy said the same idea was being looked at for tsunami-hit regions of Japan and parts of South America affected by landslides, but how it would work had yet to be determined.
"We're working on it," he said.
New Zealand Historic Places Trust Canterbury acting area manager Robyn Burgess said Google maps had been extremely useful after the earthquakes, including for trust staff who had been recording Christchurch's lost heritage.
"With the streetscapes of Christchurch so changed by the earthquakes, Google maps is one resource that can help preserve the memory of what has been lost in Christchurch and will prove very useful to historians and archaeologists recording the city's history so that it is available for future generations."
An augmented reality application for Android phones that allows people to see what the city looked like before the quakes is already in use.
The CityViewAR app was developed by University of Canterbury HIT Lab scientists.
Google last week launched a "map maker" feature in New Zealand that allows the public to submit updated information as the local landscape changes, including buildings and roads.
- © Fairfax NZ News