Google Street View goes national
Google Street View will roll out nationally tomorrow.
The service – which was previously only available in 25 cities in the UK – has been expanded to include more than 238,000 miles of road from Shetland down to Penzance.
“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”, said Ed Parsons, Google’s geospatial technologist, highlighting that many people use the service for house-hunting and planning trips.
However, Street View has been dogged by questions of privacy, with the service reportedly used by burglars to plan robberies.
Google has also come under EU scrutiny over the service. Justice commissioner Viviane Reding called on Google to make people more aware of when the cameras were coming round and how they could opt out of being on the service.
In addition, the firm’s insistence on keeping all images for 12 months, including un-blurred pictures of people, was deemed unnecessary by the EC, although Google stood firm by the decision.
One area of the UK that is unlikely to be included in the national roll-out is Broughton in Buckinghamshire, whose residents ‘chased’ the Google Street View car out of the village when it rolled up to photograph it.