Street View Articles

Advocacy Group Critical Of Google Street View

Google is being criticized by advocacy group Consumer Watchdog for gathering private information from WiFi networks in Germany via its Street View cars.

The gathering of private information surfaced because the German government raised concerns about Google’s data collection leading the company to audit its practices.

Google Comes Clean About Wi-Fi Network Data Collection
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Google opened up in a blog post today confirming that they have been collecting data from Wi-Fi networks with their Google Maps Street View Cars as they have driven around. This is a subject that has been brought up, but in a recent blog post Google said that it had not been collecting "payload data", but is now saying that it actually has been.

Street View Nears Omniscience In The UK

Pick a road, any road.  So long as it’s in the UK, there’s a good chance Google will be able to provide you with pictures taken from it.  Today, the search giant made much more Street View imagery available, meaning its photographs now cover about 238,000 miles – or 96 percent – of British roads.

The figure below tells most of the story if those numbers don’t do it for you.  As you can see, just about every street in the UK has been navigated by camera-equipped cars (along with an assortment of trikes), leading to nearly total coverage.

Google Maps Takes Steps To Improve Marker Accuracy
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By and large, Google Maps is great, providing well-plotted directions and up-to-date contact information on demand and free of charge.  But slight inaccuracies persist, and to fix this problem, Google will now allow people to reposition markers using Street View instead of just maps and satellite images.

Google To Offer Street View Opt-Out In Germany
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The back-and-forth over Street View in Germany has been fierce at times, with one Google representative recently hinting that the company intended to move forward as long as German authorities didn’t draft laws against the program.  But now Google’s given in a bit, offering people a way to keep their properties out of Street View from the start.

Google Announces Winners Of Street View Trike Contest
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About five months ago, Google started a contest to determine where its Street View trike would take pictures in the U.S.  Today, Google released some impressive stats concerning participation, and also announced the winning locations.

EU Wants Google To Revise Street View Policies
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The European Union has asked Google to revise the way it stores images for its Maps and Street View services, due to privacy concerns.

Google currently keeps all images on Street View for a year, but the EU’s Article 29 Data Protection Working Party wants that time cut in half to no longer than six months.

Google Rejects German Street View Concerns

German objections to Street View date back at least a year and a half, and by all accounts, Google still hasn’t come close to convincing the German government that the program is harmless.  Just the same, Google’s announced its intention to move forward with Street View in Germany within the next 10 months.

Google Takes Street View to Vancouver and Whistler

With the games in Vancouver and Whistler right around the corner, many wonder about the extraordinary view the world’s best skiers and snowboarders experience during the event.

Well to no one’s surprise, Google Maps can now take you there. That’s right, hold on to your helmets, because during February 12-28 anyone around the world can adventure down the trails of Whistler Mountain with the pros.The Street View team has explored a variety of different methods to capture imagery at 7,000 feet.

“Google Store Views” To Complement Street View?
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The main goal of a typical retailer is to draw people inside and sell stuff, not have folks stare at the store’s exterior.  It makes a degree of sense, then, that a new report claims something called Google Store Views will continue the tradition of Google Street View within shops.

Old Street View Lawsuit Allowed Another Gasp
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About 22 months ago, Google was sued over its Street View program by a couple named Aaron and Christine Boring.  The entire suit was dismissed a little while later.  Now, the Borings have made a small bit of headway with an appeal, but it doesn’t appear that Google has much to worry about.

Street View Spreads To Denmark, Sweden
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Google Street View has taken in a couple more countries.  Today, coverage of Denmark and Sweden was introduced, and there are new photos of many especially interesting places in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and other areas, as well.

Could Billboard Ads in Google Maps Street View Become a Possibility?

Google has been granted a quite interesting patent for "Claiming Real Estate in Panoramic or 3D Mapping Environments for Advertising". The company filed the patent back in the summer of 2008. The abstract reads:

MapQuest Gets its Own Street View
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AOL’s MapQuest has announced the launch of "360 View," a feature that may remind Google users of Google Maps Street view. For now, it’s available for 30 cities and 13 suburbs in the United States, with more on the way.

"We have studied our industry, gleaning tidbits here and there, and polled our customer base in creating a simple, easy-to-use interface that fits seamlessly into the MapQuest mapping experience you have come to know and understand," says MapQuest.

Google Headed To Swiss Court Over Street View

The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner of Switzerland, Hanspeter Thür

, still isn’t happy with Google.  Thür

Google Street View Hits Hawaii, Mexico

Attention all Street View fans: another update’s been announced, and this one could be considered especially significant.  Images of Hawaii were released, meaning Street View now has coverage of all 50 U.S. states.

Street View’s come a long way since its early days of functioning as a fun little distraction/curiosity.  It’s now a useful resource for travelers, an advertising aid for businesses, and even a friend of some tourist agencies (the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau worked with Google on this latest update).

Street View Coverage Of Two More Countries Goes Live
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A new batch of Google Street View imagery has been released, and it’s a significant one.  Rather than hit a few more American towns, Street View’s documented sights in two countries – Canada and the Czech Republic – for the first time.

Let’s start with the Czech Republic, where coverage is a bit more limited in terms of total footage captured.  Indeed, most of the imagery is focused on Prague and a handful of nearby, smaller towns.  Then, perhaps one or two Street View drivers headed southeast and spent a little time driving around Brno.

Google Utilized to “Make History” for 9/11 Remembrance
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Google has been criticized by some in the past for not featuring 9/11 doodles on the home page on the anniversary of the attacks on September 11th. Google is, however, pointing to a site from the company’s official blog, that invites people to "share their experiences of 9/11 and its aftermath in an effort to preserve the memories of that time."

Street View: Soon With More Blurriness
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On August 18th, Google released Street View imagery of Switzerland.  A few days later, Switzerland’s Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner complained.  Now, it looks like the two sides have reached an agreement that will have some rather far-reaching effects.

Google Now Identifying Businesses in Street View
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Google has now made it easier to view businesses in Street View on Google Maps. When a user conducts a local search, the bubble that pops up on business results will show a Street View link.

Users can click on that link and see the business marked with a 3D marker in Street View, just like the one you’d find on the map. When you click the marker, details about the business are shown right within Street View.

Swiss Privacy Commissioner Requests Street View Takedown

The Swiss gave Street View a chance.  But, following the release of some imagery on Tuesday, Switzerland’s Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner asked Google late last week to withdraw its offering.