A couple of months ago in Jan 2009, we covered the fact Google Street View (UK) would be coming our way sometime this spring, well that day has arrived as Google updated their Google Maps online application with their ‘Street View’ functionality.
Google’s customised cars carrying specially mounted video cameras have been capturing footage from all over the UK while travelling 22,369 miles of UK streets and this footage has now been integrated into their popular online mapping service.
All you need to do is zoom into an area on Google Maps until the “Pegman” icon (the person icon located at the top left of the map) and then drag the icon onto the map, at which point any streets that this functionality is available for will be highlighted and you can then just drop the icon onto it. You then get a movable 360-degree view of that location at street level, you can then ‘move’ along the roads by using the arrows on the view.
In accordance with privacy concerns, people’s faces, car number plates etc have been blurred out which enables Google to provide us with such a remarkably detailed service. I think this is a really great implementation of web technology which further improves the usefulness of Google Maps, which was already a great online application that also had a recent GPS tracking update called Google Latitude.
I fully expect to see this kind of Google Street View functionality appearing on their mobile phone versions of the software, especially on Google’s own Android-based devices such as the T-Mobile G1. Just think how much easier this kind of view could make trying to follow directions and navigate around places that you haven’t visited before.
Why not take a look at this great service for yourself; I’m pretty sure you’ll be impressed by it, see if Google have driven past your house! Or why not take a look at the Top 7 strange Google Street View sights in the UK that we’ve found so far?
Google Street View in the UK currently allows you to explore the following 25 cities: