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Google Street View is a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views from positions along many streets in the world. It was launched on May 25, 2007, in several cities in the United States, and has since expanded to include cities and rural areas worldwide.

Where available, Street View images appear after zooming in beyond the highest zooming level in maps and satellite images, and also by dragging a "pegman" icon onto a location on a map. When dragging the pegman icon, blue lines on the map showing Street View imagery will appear. Using the keyboard or mouse, the horizontal and vertical viewing direction and zoom level can be selected. A solid or broken line in the photo shows the approximate path followed by the camera car, and arrows link to the next photo in each direction. At junctions and crossings of camera car routes, more arrows are shown. By using Google Maps, users can turn on steroscopic 3D mode by right-clicking in Street View to get an anaglyph version of any Street View images. However, this mode requires users to wear red cyan glasses to see the 3D effects.

On November 21, 2008, Street View was added to the Maps application installed on the Apple iPhone. On December 10, 2008, Street View was added to the Maps application for S60 3rd Edition. Street View has now also been added to the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile versions of Google Maps. All versions of Google Maps for the Android operating system feature Street View, and the digital compass can be used to look around the locations.

Google Street View displays panoramas of stitched images taken from a fleet of specially adapted cars. Areas not accessible by car, like pedestrian areas, narrow streets, alleys and ski resorts, are sometimes covered by Google Trikes (tricycles) or snowmobiles.[1][2] On each of these vehicles there are nine directional cameras for 360° views at a height of about 8.2 feet, or 2.5 meters, GPS units for positioning and three laser range scanners from Sick AG for the measuring of up to 50 meters 180° in the front of the vehicle.[3] These are used for recording a rough 3D model of the surroundings, enabling faux-3D transitions between distinct panoramas where the environment images are momentarily mapped onto this 3D model while being crossfaded to create an animated perspective change as the user travels from one panorama to another. There are also 3G/GSM/Wi-Fi antennas for scanning 3G/GSM and Wi-Fi hotspots.[4] More recently, high quality images have been based on open source hardware cameras from Elphel.[5]

Development

Google Street View was introduced in the United States on May 25, 2007 and, until November 26, 2008, featured camera icon markers, each representing at least one major city or area (such as a park), and usually the other nearby cities, towns, suburbs, and parks. Many areas that had coverage were not represented by icons.

  • On May 12, 2008, Google announced that it was testing face-blurring technology on its photos of the busy streets of Manhattan.[6] The technology uses a computer algorithm to search Google's image database for faces and blurs them, according to John Hanke, director of Google Earth and Google Maps.[7]
  • On April 16, 2008, Street View was fully integrated into Google Earth 4.3.
  • On July 2, 2008, Street View was introduced in France and Italy, providing the first service outside the United States and the debut of Google's new 4th Generation Cameras. On this day, 19 camera icons were added, mostly showing small towns and areas along the Tour de France route and part of north western Italy
  • On August 4, 2008, 28 icons of major metropolitan areas of both Australia and Japan were added. Included in the update were approximately 40 new U.S. hub cities.
  • On December 1, 2008, New Zealand was added to Google Street View. Faces were blurred upon recommendation by the New Zealand Privacy Commission, but vehicle registration plates were not obscured.
  • Two other features included in the June 10, 2008, update were a mask of the "Google Car" and the application of face-blurring technology on all photos, which effectively lowered the resolution across all photos, even the formerly impressive high resolution images of San Francisco. Also, many nearby metro areas were included, but they did not receive their own camera icons. Google initially used images from spherical video company Immersive Media as well as their own vehicles. Since December 2007, Google has used imagery that belongs exclusively to Google.
  • On November 26, 2008, the Street View button and all the camera icons were deleted. Instead of clicking the "Street View" button, this is now accessed using the "pegman" button in the left hand corner. When the "pegman" icon is dragged over the map blue polylines appear where Street View is available and a small window will show the current Street View. If this is dropped on the map the Street View opens and takes over the whole map window.
  • On April 9, 2009, Street View became available with a full-screen option.
  • On June 5, 2009, Smart Navigation was introduced which allows users to navigate around the panoramas by double-clicking with their cursor on any place or object they want to see.[8]
  • In mid-June 2010, Google added blue dots to its maps that display user-submitted images in all locations around the world, including land areas where Street View is not available and bodies of water. These images can be pulled up on the screen in the same manner as a Street View image with the pegman by dragging it onto the blue dot.
  • On January 14, 2012, users of versions lower than Google Earth 6.0 are blocked from seeing Street View content. This is done to promote version 6. [9]

Timeline

Main article: Timeline of Google Street View

Coverage

File:Google Street View coverage.png
;">   Countries with full or partial coverage (30 countries and regions)
   Countries with full or partial coverage planned (official)
   Countries with full or partial coverage planned (unofficial)
   Countries with museum views only
   No coverage
]]

Google Street View was introduced in the United States on May 25, 2007, and only covered areas of the United States until July 2, 2008. Images can now be seen in at least nine countries (although parts of other countries can be seen from locations located near national borders; for example, large portions of Vatican City can be viewed from Rome's streetview). Introductions have generally occurred every 2 days to 100 days. Until November 26, 2008, major cities (and early on, the only cities) were marked by camera icons, more of which were added each time. Then, all camera icons were discontinued in favor simply of "blue" coverage, while other features have been added to make access to and use of the feature more user-friendly.

Table

Below is a table showing the countries available on Street View and the year they were first added.

Country Year added Notes
Template:Country data Aland Islands 2010 First semi-autonomous region available on Street View.
Template:Country data Antarctica 2010 While in Antarctica, the Pegman is shown as a Chinstrap Penguin. Antarctica also has the southernmost place in the world accessible by Street View.
Template:Country data Australia 2008 Added on the same day as Japan; first country available in Oceania.
Template:Country data Austria 2012 Museum views only.
Template:Country data Belgium 2011
Template:Country data Brazil 2010 First country available in South America. Cities in Southern Brazil are available, along with views of the Amazon River near Manaus.
Template:Country data Canada 2009
Template:Country data Czech Republic 2009
Template:Country data Denmark 2010
Template:Country data France 2008 Added on the same day as Italy, one of the first two countries available in Europe.
Template:Country data Finland 2010
Template:Country data Germany 2010
Template:Country data Greece 2012 Museum views only.
Template:Country data Hong Kong 2010 First place with Street View in mainland Asia, along with Macau.
Template:Country data India 2012 Museum views only.
Template:Country data Iraq 2011 Museum views only. First Middle Eastern country available.
Template:Country data Ireland 2010
Template:Country data Isle of Man 2011
Template:Country data Italy 2008 Added on the same day as France, one of the first two countries available in Europe.
Template:Country data Israel 2012 Most recent country added, along with Ukraine. First country to have street views in the Middle East.
Template:Country data Japan 2008 First country available in Asia. Added on the same day as Australia.
Template:Country data Jersey 2011
Template:Country data Macau 2010 First place with Street View in mainland Asia, along with Hong Kong.
Template:Country data Mexico 2009 First Latin American country to be added to Google Street View.
Template:Country data Monaco 2011 Smallest country available on Google Street View.
Template:Country data Netherlands 2009 First full covered country
Template:Country data Norway 2010 Has the northern-most place in the world accessible by Street View.
Template:Country data New Zealand 2008
Template:Country data Poland 2012
Template:Country data Portugal 2009
Template:Country data Qatar 2012 Museum views only.
Template:Country data Romania 2010
Template:Country data Russia 2011 Museum view only until 2012. First ex-Soviet country available.
Template:Country data Singapore 2009 First Southeast Asian country available.
Template:Country data South Africa 2010 First country available in Africa. South Africa and the Canary Islands are the only available territories in Africa.
Template:Country data South Korea 2012
Template:Country data Spain 2008
Template:Country data Sweden 2010
Template:Country data Switzerland 2009
Template:Country data Thailand 2012 Currently available in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
Template:Country data Taiwan 2009 First non-United Nations country available.
Template:Country data Ukraine 2012 Most recent country added, along with Israel before starting of UEFA_Euro_2012 and it is available in Kiev, Lviv, Donetsk, Odessa and Kharkiv .
Template:Country data United Kingdom 2009
Template:Country data United States 2007 First country available to view on Street View, as well as the only one available for over a year following Street View's initial release.
Template:Country data West Bank 2012 Some areasTemplate:Verify source of East Jerusalem were added during the recent addition of Israel. Template:Request quotation

North America

File:GoogleStreetViewCar Subaru Impreza at Google Campus.JPG

United States

Main article: Google Street View in the United States The United States was the first country to have Street View images and was the only country with images for over a year following introduction. Early on, most locations had a limited number of views, usually constrained to the city limits and only including major streets, and they only showed the buildings up to a certain height. Few suburbs or other nearby cities were included.

After the first few sets of introductions, image collections from cities added were more detailed, often including every side street, especially in areas closer to the center of the city. More suburbs and other nearby cities were included.

The coverage of various cities has in many cases, subsequently been enlarged and improved, but not necessarily on the same date as new cities have been added. Improvements have included the additions of streets in neighborhoods where formerly only main roads had been covered, expansions to more suburbs, and views to the sky where formerly only views to a certain height were provided.

Initially when a group of cities were added, only those cities and their own suburbs would be a part of the image collection. However June 10, 2008 introductions also included cities in covered areas without camera icons and isolated from any other camera icons. Many more cities were added without icons on August 4, when the only U.S. city added with an icon was New Orleans.

On December 9, 2008, extensive coverage of the United States was added. This included full coverage of all large and most medium-sized urban areas and most major highways and connecting arteries throughout the 48 contiguous states.

On March 18, 2009, extensive coverage of the United States was added including most of the coverage of Delaware, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and South Dakota. For a period of time some coverage was deleted (such as in northern Minnesota.)

By January 21, 2010, more American landmarks appeared on Street View, including San Diego Zoo and Sesame Place.

On September 30, 2010, most of Alaska was replaced with high-resolution imagery, and more of HawaiTemplate:Okinai was added.

On February 1, 2011, Street Views were added of the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art in Washington and of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York.[10]

Canada

Main article: Google Street View in Canada

File:Google Street View Car in Chinatown, Toronto.jpg

In Canada, Google Street View cars had been spotted as early as September 2007, in Montreal, though service for Canada was delayed while attempting to settle with the nation over its privacy laws. The first images of Canada were made available on October 7, 2009. Currently, most of Canada can be seen on Street View with the notable exceptions of Labrador, Nunavut, the Gaspé peninsula and Fort McMurray, Alberta.

On February 10, 2010, many more areas of Canada (barring extremely northern and rural areas) were added. Of note, ski runs on Whistler Blackcomb Resort were also covered in this update. Using Street View, it is now possible to "drive" almost to the shore of the Arctic Ocean in Alaska along the Dalton Highway; in Canada, the northernmost community currently imaged is Inuvik, Northwest Territories off the Dempster Highway.

Latin America

Mexico

Main article: Google Street View in Latin America In Mexico, first reports of sightings came in from Mexico City as early as April 2009 and now Google Street View cars are being spotted in many Mexican states. On November 9, 2009, Street View was made available in the main cities of Mexico, including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Cancún and Puerto Vallarta.[11]

On February 10, 2010, more places were added.

On April 15, 2010, more areas of Mexico were uploaded. Although complete coverage has not yet occurred (in some cities only main streets are imaged), numerous locations including communities in Baja California and Ciudad Juárez now had extensive street-level coverage with this update.

Brazil

File:Google Street View Car in Villa-Lobos Park in São Paulo.jpg

Main article: Google Street View in Latin America On September 30, 2010, the first cities from Brazil were added.[12] The service started with 51 cities, most from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and greater metropolitan areas. Historic cities such as Ouro Preto, Diamantina and Tiradentes were also included. On September 28, 2011 several towns in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul were added.[13]

Europe

Main article: Google Street View in Europe In Europe, coverage is available in 19 countries. Coverage began in Europe on July 2, 2008, with the Tour de France route in parts of France and Italy, and other parts followed.

File:Streetview Thurles.png

Asia

File:Google street view near al aqtsa.jpg

Main article: Google Street View in Asia Japan was introduced on August 4, 2008. Japan's coverage is concentrated in five areas with a total of 10 camera icons. The service has faced criticisms from bloggers in Japan of cultural insensitivity.[14]

Google Street View camera cars were spotted in the streets of Singapore in October 2008. On December 2, 2009 Street View imagery of Singapore was made available.

In early 2009, camera cars were spotted in Hong Kong's streets. On August 18, 2009, Taipei, Taiwan was added. On October 7, and December 2, 2009, more locations in Japan were added. On January 21, 2010, more Taiwan locations were added. At the same time, more Japanese locations are added. Unusually, while Street View images are, at present, primarily collected during daylight hours, a number of Taipei streets were imaged at night.

On March 11, 2010, Google Street View for Hong Kong, Macau, and more locations in Japan was launched.

On December 8, 2010, Google updated some of Japan's imagery with HD photographs.

On September 2, 2011 Google revealed that its Street View feature will be introduced to the country in association with the Tourism Authority of Thailand.[15][16]

On September 3, 2011 Google started to collaborate with Tourism Malaysia to record Malaysian locations to be featured on its Google Map Street View.[17]

On January 24, 2012 Street View was launched in South Korea starting with imagery from the country's capital Seoul as well as South Korea's second largest city of Busan.

On March 21, 2012 Street View is available for Thailand including Phuket, Chiang Mai and Bangkok

On April 19, 2012 Street View was launched in Israel for the following cities: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.

Oceania

Main article: Google Street View in Oceania On August 4, 2008, the image collection of Australia was introduced. At this time, 18 camera icons were added. Extensive mapping of New Zealand was included on December 1, 2008. On December 9, 2008, Darwin, Australia, and other locations were included. On October 30, 2009, Google Australia announced that they would be sending its fleet of cars back on the road from November 2009 to update Street View Australia with new images.

In October 2010, Google Street View ceased operations in Australia, so the new images were never released.[18] In May 2011, Google Australia stated that they have removed all the Wifi sniffing equipment and stated that they plan to shoot Australian roads again, but did not provide a specific timetable.[19] On July 27, 2011, major urban and regional centres of Australia were updated with new HD imagery.

Africa

Main article: Google Street View in Africa Street View can be seen in South Africa and the Canary Islands of Spain. It has also been planned for Botswana.

On September 1, 2009, Google announced that it started collecting images in South Africa for Street View. Google is driving around South Africa in a Toyota Prius, taking photographs of locations in the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and East London. Google Trikes are also being used for the first time to map popular tourist destinations, such as the scenic Chapman's Peak Drive and Table Mountain in Cape Town, Soccer City in Johannesburg, and the new Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Images of South Africa were made available on Google Street View on June 8, 2010.

On December 8, 2010, more locations in South Africa were added. These were mostly rural and main roads, as well as a much larger coverage of the Limpopo province. After the update, the borders of South Africa's neighboring countries could be reached.

Antarctica

File:Pegman in Antartica.jpg

In September 2010, views of Half Moon Island in the South Shetland Islands were added.[20]

Introductions by date, areas included

Main article: Timeline of Google Street View

Future

On August 18, 2011, Google announced they are going to shoot photos on the Amazon River, using a boat and that the Street View trike will be used along the narrow dirt paths of Amazon villages.[21][22][23] In addition, in September 2011, Google announced plans to shoot photos of tourist attractions in Malaysia using the Street View trike.[24][25]

On February 23, 2012 Google announced plans to incorporate 360 underwater views of Australia's Great Barrier Reef into its "Seaview" project.[26][27]

A list of the places Street View vehicles are currently driving, or where Street View is officially planned:[28]

Continent Countries and regions listed on Google's site[29] Countries reported in media or unofficially announced
Asia Template:IND Template:MAS,[30][31] Template:PAK[32][33]
Europe Template:AUT, Template:BGR, Template:CRO, Template:GIB,[34] Template:GRC, Template:LAT, Template:LUX, Template:SVK Template:Country data Alderney,[35] Template:AND,[36] Template:GGY,[35] Template:EST,[37] Template:HUN,[38], Template:SLO[39]
South America Template:CHI Template:ARG[40]
Africa Template:BOT

Cameras

Google has used three types of car-mounted cameras to take Street View photographs. Generations 1–3 were used to take photographs in the United States. The first generation was superseded and images were replaced with images taken with 2nd and 3rd generation cameras. Second generation cameras were used to take photographs in Australia. The shadows caused by the 1st, 2nd and 4th generation cameras are occasionally viewable in images taken in mornings and evenings. The new 4th generation cameras will be used to completely replace all images taken with earlier generation cameras. 4th generation cameras take near-HD images and deliver much better quality than earlier cameras.

In October 2009, Google introduced the Street View Trike, a pedal tricycle with a 4th generation camera mounted to take images where cars cannot reach. All streetview images taken now will be taken with the 4th Generation streetview cameras.

In February 2010, Google introduced the Street View Snowmobile, a snowmobile with a 4th generation camera mounted to take images on the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Slopes in preparation for the winter olympics in Vancouver, Canada.[41]

Google plans to reshoot areas covered with pre-4th generation cameras, with 4th generation cameras.

Camera quality comparison

The above shows a comparison of different generations of the Street View cameras. The first image was taken with either the first, second, or third generation Street View camera; and the second image was taken with the fourth generation Street View camera. Noticeably, the fourth generation camera provides clear, sharp, and vivid images. In most of Europe, for example, all images were taken with the fourth generation camera as these images were taken later, although some cities in France were not taken with the fourth generation camera. All older images where Street View was first made available, such as America, Australia, and Japan, will be phased out and replaced with newer imagery taken with the fourth generation Street View cameras.

Pegman

For most areas on street view, the pegman is shown as a standard yellow figure. However, some areas have a modified version for specific areas. For example, in Legoland the pegman is shown as a Lego character, and in Antarctica the pegman is shown as a chinstrap penguin. When Quest mode is enabled and Maps GL is disabled, the pegman is shown in the style of a video game character.

Privacy issues

Main article: Google Street View privacy concerns Privacy advocates have objected to this Google feature, pointing to views found to show men leaving strip clubs, protesters at an abortion clinic, sunbathers in bikinis, and people engaging in activities visible from public property in which they do not wish to be seen publicly.[42] The concerns have led to several temporary bans of Street View in countries around the world. Google maintains that the photos were taken from public property; however, an individual taking pictures of private property using a ladder to gain a view not normally available to a pedestrian would be prosecuted for invasion of privacy or harassment in many jurisdictions worldwide. Google has yet to address this concern. The service also allows users themselves to flag inappropriate or sensitive imagery for Google to review and remove.[43]

In May 2010, it was revealed that Google had collected and stored payload data from unencrypted Wi-Fi connections as part of Street View.[44] German authorities are considering legal action while the Foreign Minister said "I will do all I can to prevent it." Australian police have also been ordered to investigate.[45][46]

Discontinued regions

In October 2010, Google Street View ceased operations in Australia, following months of investigations from Australian authorities.[47] However, this cessation has since ended, with Google announcing plans to continue production on May 4, 2011[48] and subsequently releasing updated Street View imagery for Australian towns and cities on July 27, 2011.[49]

In April 2011, Google decided to stop taking Street View images in Germany.[50]

In June 2011, Google decided to temporarily stop taking street images in India, after receiving a letter from the local authorities.[51]

Competing products

Main article: Competition of Google Street View

Artistic uses of images

Fine-art photographers including Mishka Henner, Nick Mason, Jon Rafman, Doug Rickard, and Michael Wolf have selected Google Street View images for use in their own work.[52][53][54][55][56][57] Although the images may be pixelated, the colours "muddy", and the perspective "warped", the photographs have been published in book form and exhibited in art galleries.[54][55][58] Wolf won an honourable mention in Daily Life in the 2011 World Press Photo competition for some of his work using Google Street View.[59]

See also

References

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  11. "México ya es accesible, calle por calle, en Internet". Informador.com.mx. http://www.informador.com.mx/economia/2009/152568/6/mexico-ya-es-accesible-calle-por-calle-en-internet.htm. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
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External links

  • [[[:Template:Official website/http]] Official website]

Template:Google Street View


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