To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Discover your home’s history with hidden Google Maps tool that lets you travel back in time

Discover your home’s history with hidden Google Maps tool that lets you travel back in time

You might discover that your house has a hidden past.

Did you know that Google Maps has a secret setting that lets you go back in time?

Alright, it's maybe not a secret but it is quite hard to find, and this little trick can make it really easy to take a look at what your home, or any street you like, used to look like.

It all centers on Street View, a feature that Google launched years ago to let you take a look around a given location.

Avalon / Contributor / Getty

It's been mapping out roads and streets around the world for years now - many of us know the familiar sight of a Street View car driving past with a big camera on top of it, taking up-to-date scans of the area.

This is a handy navigational tool since it lets you get a sense for what streets actually look like before you set off, rather than just knowing the map layout of the area.

It turns out, though, that when Google updates its Street View database with new images, it doesn't delete the old ones like you might think.

Instead, it keeps them there so that you can find them to compare them with the present, and it's actually quite easy to do.

How to go back in time on Google Street View

To get a look back in time, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Google Maps website in a web browser.
  2. Search for a location or address of your choice.
  3. When you're looking at a mapped area that you chose, go to the bottom right of your screen. Drag and drop the icon of a yellow person onto the road location of your choice (so long as it's blue, and therefore mapped).
  4. Now that you're looking at a Street View, look at the top-left of your display. Under the search bar, you'll see a grey box detailing your location. At the bottom of this box, click on 'See more dates'.
  5. This will bring up a roster of older views at the bottom of your screen, that you can click through to compare.
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

There you have it - you can see a historical list of views, some of them going back to the mid-2000s when Google Maps really started to ramp up its activity.

It's fascinating to scroll through, and if you live in an area that has seen a lot of construction then you could see a huge amount of progress, almost like a time-lapse.

Equally, on roads with historic buildings or less newbuild activity, you might find it interesting to see how little has changed down the years.

Featured Image Credit: Google Maps/Street View