Initially, Google Street View was fairly controversial with many people complaining about invasion of privacy and such issues. However, those concerns have not stopped Google from expanding the service, because as of tomorrow (11th March 2010), you lucky (or unlucky depending on which side of the fence you’re sat) people in the UK will have access to a total 96% of all roads, streets and avenues across the isles.
The infamous camera cars have been out and about over the last year busily snapping up everything from busy city streets to little lanes in the middle of God knows where, there’s even been some Google Path View images captured using specially equipped trikes.
In some parts, such as the village of Broughton, the journey of the car has been somewhat treacherous with outraged protesters lining the streets creating human blockades preventing the car from snapping their streets. None the less, Google got their way in the end and we’ll all be able to go spotting more strange Street View sights in the UK with all these new images.
The Google Street View (UK) mapping service has been somewhat of a success since its inception around a year ago. According to recent statistics regarding the service, 1 in 5 people use it to find their next house! As well as the 60% majority which use it to actually find their way and others use it to spy on foreign countries, perhaps a holiday destination. But all in all, Google Maps has seen a 30% increase in users since the street view arrived.
The UK is not the first, and will certainly not be the last to reap the benefits of the Street View service with dozens of nations coming before with very few, if any real complaints thus far. In its defense over privacy issues, Google had this to say…
“Google has gone to great lengths to safeguard privacy while allowing all British users to benefit from this feature…Google UK has consulted extensively with many privacy and community groups in developing the feature and privacy safeguards.”
“The blurring technology is continually improving but sometimes this means we get some false positives – in some cases you can find we’ve blurred the face on a poster or the face of Colonel Sanders on the KFC signs,”
Clearly they’ve had to face several restrictions since implementing the service, but so far it has only been a roaring success. Ed Parsons, Google’s geospatial technologist, promoted its success in a short statement, “Street View takes mapping to a level not possible before. And with so many practical applications it’s no wonder that over two thirds of people who had tried the service said they would use Street View again.”
So what are your opinions on Google Street View UK? With the blurring technology in place and protecting privacy do you still have issues with it? particularly now it’s expanding so rapidly. Do you use the service regularly? I personally don’t drive so the only use I have found for it for me, is keeping a track on changes in the area in which I grew up, which was limited so the expansion has my highest approval.
Via – IT Pro