It’s been announced that Google Street View is coming to the UK!
The first cities in the UK to be included as part of Google Street View will be London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh – Google cars equipped will the special cameras for this task have been out and about in these areas in the past few months, so it’s expected that the images captured will be implemented in Google Street View for the UK by Spring 2009.
UPDATE: Google Street View is now live in the UK and features images of 25 cities – a full list of the cities featured are contained on that page too.
UPDATE 2: It’s only taken around a year, but now Google Street View covers most of the UK – try looking up your local area, chances are you’ll be able to look around it now!
In case you haven’t heard of Google Street View before, it is basically an addition to Google’s already impressive mapping services which form their online Google Maps website, Google Maps mobile software, their Google Earth desktop software application and Google Earth iPhone App. This added feature of Street View means that as well as seeing a location in map form and from a satellite view, you can now ‘go down to street level’ and navigate around using a 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic interface that allows you to travel virtually around an area.
This is great way of exploring an area online that you plan on visiting soon (or perhaps talking a friend through a journey and giving them directions) – that way you will be able to make sense of the area when you’re there and spot recognisable landmarks etc.
Or better still using, while using your mobile phone to look at Google Maps for Mobile, you can use Google Street View while you’re actually there making it so much easier to find your way around an unfamiliar city.
Obviously there’s going to be a lot of people who’s had their photograph taken without their permission and then being shown on the Internet, so to ensure concerns over privacy are respected, Google will be obscuring the faces of anyone who will be featured on Google Street View UK. However, that has proved to be not enough re-assurance for some people in the UK who have actually stopped the Google car from entering their village of Broughton.
For more information and the chance to take a look at some interesting (and some weird) images that Google Street View has captured so far in its ground-level images from around the world, take a look at these pages:
- Zath’s Top 7 Strange Google Street View Sights in the UK
- Mashable’s Top 15 Google Streetview Sightings
- The Times 10 Bizarre Sights in Google Street View
- Google Street View Sightings