Google cam ... they're watching you
Millions of people all over the world have been talking about the controversial Google Street View since its launch in Britain last week.
Google "Street View" launches in UK
LONDON (AFP) — Google on Thursday launched its controversial "Street View" service in Britain, giving Internet users panoramic street-level images of 25 cities.
The Internet giant said 360-degree pictures of street life in cities from Southhampton to Edinburgh are available on the free mapping service.
Millions of photos, captured by cameras mounted on cars driven last summer, show residential addresses, people and vehicles.
Google says the service -- already available in six other countries including Japan and Australia -- allows users to view panoramas of major streets, look up landmarks and plot driving routes.
But the service has been criticised for invasion of privacy since it was first launched in the United States two years ago.
Google said it had taken steps to address privacy concerns including obscuring people's faces in photographs and blurring licence plate numbers.
"The images you see on Street View are the same images you would see if you were to walk or drive down the road yourself," Ed Parsons, Google's geospatial technologist, said on Thursday.
"If people do not want their homes featured we will take them down, or cut them out of the image," he said.
"We have spoken to Scotland Yard and, from a crime point of view, they are happy with it, there are no issues there," he added.
The Information Commissioner's Office ruled last August that the service contained "adequate safeguards" to protect people's privacy.
The service will be extended to more cities, with the cars continuing to drive through British streets and photographs taken, Parsons said.
Hidden within the British images will be the children's book character Wally.
Cities covered are Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Southampton, Swansea, York
Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More »
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from google street view - Google Blog Search by Greg Sterling
Since it was introduced more than two years ago, Microsoft's innovative Photosynth technology has been under-leveraged. I've written a number of times about.
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