With the last film in the Skywalker saga ending decades of storytelling, Google Maps has decided to do something special for Star Wars fans. Recognizing how traveling through the hyperspace is one of Star Wars’ most memorable visual effects, Google Maps quietly added the warp speed zooming motion to its planetary exploration feature sometime last week.
The animation shows up when you switch from Earth to other planetary bodies on Google Maps, as an eagle-eyed Redditor discovered. In case you have forgotten about the neat little space exploration feature of Google Maps, it was first introduced in 2017.
The first step to activate the feature is to switch to ‘satellite view’ on Google Maps by clicking the button at the lower-left corner of the screen. After that, you hop onto the right side to click the tiny ‘enable globe view’ button and zoom out until you reach the planetary view of Earth in space. At maximum zoom, a list of celestial bodies will pop up on the left. Click on any of the planets or moons and a Star Wars-like hyperspace animation will appear to take you to your destination at lightspeed!
This is what it looks like in action:
Even if you are not a science fiction fan, the space exploration feature in Google Maps deserves your time and attention. It gives you the ability to wade through the icy plains of Enceladus, where water was found beneath the moon’s crust, or see how the methane lakes of Titan look like. Google also recommends exploring the massive crater of Mimas, adding “while it might seem like a sci-fi look-a-like, it is a moon, not a space station.”
Not just that, Google has dutifully labeled all craters, mountains, and plains – doling out information nuggets, such as how these places got their names when you click on different regions. Also, all the images are in 3D to allow you to decipher where the sun hits the surface of a planet or a moon.
So, what are you waiting for? Activate hyperspace drive now!