Friday, March 20, 2009

Google launches Street View in UK.

Google has launched it's new street maps of the UK, including an ability to see 360-degree views of 25 cities from Southampton to Aberdeen.

The company has spent almost a year collecting images, with a fleet of specially modified cars crawling along 22,369 miles of British roads.

As well as the logistical challenges of taking tens of millions of individual pictures along Britain's roads, Street View has also suffered intense criticism from privacy campaigners since it launched in the US two years ago. An American couple even went as far as to sue Google over invasion of privacy although
they subsequently lost the case.

"We recognise that people do have some concerns in terms of privacy," said Google's geospatial technologist Ed Parsons. "But this is the sort of level of detail you would get from driving down a road, the sort of picture you would see in an estate agent's window."

I really don't understand the fuss from a privacy angle as, if you are anything like me, you will log on, look at your own house and that of a few friends, wonder why your car isn't there, and move on.

And, as faces and registration plates are automatically blurred, the threat to people's privacy seems remote to me.

Test it out for yourself by clicking here.

Click title for full article.

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