Google Street View in Canvas

Using Google Street View as a site visit tool can be a quick way of creating a virtual site visit within Canvas by using readily available 360° images and no need to capture footage yourself. Google Maps has many locations around the world captured by 360° imaging that can be easily curated and integrated into Canvas sites to support learning activities.

You can test a live example of this method within the ABP BEL+T Canvas Community. Click here to access. If you have not yet enrolled into the ABP BEL+T Canvas Community click here first.

When is it best to use Google Street View as an alternative or supplement to site visits?

  • When it is difficult to physically access a site or footage is limited.When key site elements are in public space (e.g. street frontages, building facades, footpaths).
  • When wanting to explore the arterial connection across a large-scale site.
  • When wanting to gain a better understanding of the surrounding context of a site.
  • To allow for virtual access of sites that are located remotely from students.

Considerations to keep in mind:

  • Some students may not be able to access Google websites due to firewalls.
  • Imagery can be restricted to vehicular perspectives, limiting views within buildings, parks, laneways, etc.
  • Although Street View allows for user-directed navigation, there are no options to customise or enhance the student experience beyond the functionality offered by Google.

If your virtual site visit requires more functionality than offered by a Google Street View, such as information hotspots, consider other site visit options, such as H5P.

Locate your site on Google Street View

  1. In your web browser, open Google Maps:
  2. In the top-left-hand search bar, type an address or name of a place to find your site. Press Enter or the magnifying glass icon to search.
  3. Drag-and-drop the yellow stick figure icon from the bottom-right-hand corner of your map into your preferred site.
  4. You should now see a first-person view of somewhere near your site. Using your mouse or trackpad, navigate in the 360° Street View to face where you want your site visit to start.
  1. In the menu on the top-left of your Street View, you should see three vertical dots. Click these, then select “Share or embed image”.
  2. You should see a pop-up window appear. Navigate to the “Embed a map” tab in this window.
  3. Select your preferred size for the embedded Street View from the drop-down menu.
  4. Then select “COPY HTML”. This will copy the embed link that you need to add to Canvas.

Embed the street View into Canvas

  1. Open your Canvas site and navigate to the page where you would like to embed the Street View.
  2. On this Canvas page, select the “Edit” button (usually located at the top of your page). Your page should now be in “edit” mode. Be cautious not to delete any content – changes here can be permanent!
  3. Select the </> button to switch from rich text editor mode to the raw HTML editor. You should now see the page’s HTML code.
  4. At the very bottom of this HTML code, either right-click or CTRL+v to paste your embed link into the page.
  5. Select “Save” or "Save and Publish" if you are making your page live for the first time.

Now your students will be able to interact with your selected Street View location from within Canvas. Use the page editor to add in some descriptive text that will guide your students in their tasks. You may wish to consider embedding multiple Street Views into one page, especially if your students need to explore/compare sites.