Hands-on with an Alpha build of Google Maps Augmented Reality mode

I think most of us have had this experience, especially when youre in a big city: you step off of public transit, take a peek at Google Maps to figure out which way youre supposed to go and then somehow proceed to walk two blocks in the wrong direction.
Maybe the little blue dot wasnt actually in the right place yet. Maybe your phones compass was bugging out and facing the wrong way because youre surrounded by 30-story buildings full of metal and other things that compasses hate.
Google Maps work-in-progress augmented reality mode wants to end that scenario, drawing arrows and signage onto your cameras view of the real world to make extra, super sure youre heading the right way. It compares that camera view with its massive collection of Street View imagery to try to figure out exactly where youre standing and which way youre facing, even when your GPS and/or compass might be a little off. Its currently in alpha testing, and I spent some hands-on time with it this morning.
A little glimpse of what it looks like in action:
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