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May 29, 2007

The Earth is Closer: Street Views in Google Maps

Google Maps launched a new way to explore our geography: at the street level. In a limited number of locations, you'll find a button that says "Street View". Once you click on that button, watch the street marked with blue lines and click on one of them to see a street view for that location. To navigate along the street, click on the white arrows or use the arrow keys. You can also rotate the image and see a complete a panoramic view.

The feature is available only for Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area, but it will be extended as soon as Google has more street-level imagery.




And here's a short demo from Google:



Philipp Lenssen from Google Blogoscoped thinks "this looks & feels amazing, albeit there's potential privacy issues due to the level of detail (you can make out individual faces, license plates and so on)". Now all we need is some real sound and a way to integrate information about different places.

53 comments:

  1. Can you see the new button already Ionut?

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  2. No, not yet. Only through US proxies or by adding gl=us to the Google Maps URL.

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  3. Microsoft has something similar for Seattle and San Francisco at http://preview.local.live.com, but Google's stuff looks better.

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  4. What about other countries like Philippines? Hope that there is a planned project on other countries

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  5. In some areas you can see the shadow of the vehicle that took the photos. There is a tripod on its roof with a camera on top.

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  6. Whoa. That.. Is.. Amazing. I've always wanted that feature on Google Earth, where you can zoom in to any given area on earth, with just a few clicks. True, they have those for some areas, like the ones i "visited", like paris, etc., but the other, more obscure areas on earth do not have pictures. I hope that Google Earth will have pictures of all the places on earth soon. Going back to the street pictures. That is a great start. Hope they offer both detailed street maps and pictures of places elsewhere on earth too. Globalism should really be the focus here.

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  7. What about getting permission to utilize the 1000's of existing "live web cams" that are already in place all around the world?

    Integration of existing public webcams into Google Maps would be a simple code change, HOWEVER, many of the live cams are currently bandwidth prohibitive, so inclusion into Google maps would surely render them useless. If Google subsidized the bandwidth on some of the "key" cams, it would sure take this project to the next level ;)

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  8. I found this image online today that appears to be a reflection of the van they used in a window it was driving by. If you zoom out it makes it easier to tell that it is actually a reflection. If that is indeed what the van looks like, I saw one identical to it on my way home yesterday in Tucson, Arizona. I wonder what cities they will be mapping next. Any estimates as to how long it takes them to gather all the imagery, process it, and get it online?

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  9. There's a new site at http://www.streetviewspotting.com for posting StreetViews you've found and voting on other people's.. check it out.

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  10. On second thought, the street view thing is pretty creepy after all. http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article1870995.ece

    Just think of the possibilities of this kind of.. Spying. I believe that there IS basis for all those people who fear the possibilities of Google's Streetview and Google Earth's capabilities. I only shudder to think what those possibilities are.

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  11. Next thing we will be peeping through open windows, the world looking at the world. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING.

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  12. Too bad about all the privacy concerns...http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/394362?c_id=wom-bc-js

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  13. The government has total access & tools to invade our privacy. I think we ought to be able to see what they may be looking at. But I guess everyones going to start behaving alot better or be alot more paranoid.

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  14. I can see the hooded long robes coming into style or meeting places that no one would know to google. And leaving your car somewhere else. Alot of work if you need not to get caught at something.

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  15. What countries is street view available

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  16. if you won't the truth about it all is the gov.is allready in your house if you got the new converter box ,you must have it by feb,2009,just to watch tv.i think that there eyes are already in other device's we buy ,

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  17. I think this is discusting, Google has taken it too far! People should have the option if they want to be listed on this program. Privacy has been erased. Now this will make it easier for terrorist, robbers, stalkers etc to most likely harm people and loved ones. Google better get ready for some major legal ramifications!!!!!! I dispise you Google!!!!! You have put peoples lives in your hands

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  18. I followed one of those vehicles with a panoramic camera fixed to a tripod on it's roof in London last week ;o)

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  19. if you map "E Hampden Ave, Denver, CO 80231" and look straight down, you can see the actual vehicle

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  20. take a street view of NSA and what's under ground. Dare ya'

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  21. I think it's great what Google is doing, i'm just disappointed that the areas covered are so limited at the moment. It'd also be nice if the images were updated on say.. a daily basis, at least? Per hour would be even better.

    I can't really understand what people are getting so worked up about. How is this an invasion of privacy, exactly? It's simply documenting, and organizing what would be seen by anyone going down the streets in their own car. What's the big deal?

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  22. When i check my house, there's a different pickup there almost every day. Seems something always breaks when I'm away at work. My poor wife has to arrange all these contractors. It really makes her nervous when they travel so have to stay overnight, and I'm away on business. At least I can see they are there and safe. Sometimes they don't move until the next one shows up, I bet she has them working hard, she can be a little demanding.

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  23. My street has no view, can I add a pic of our place that I took myself? How?

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  24. I think currently USA and Japan have the street view feature only.

    By the way, do you think a still outdoor image can allow terrorists to plan destruction? I don't think so. But I don't know how you think. And but, I will let the national security expert to think about this. And, it seems that they have allowed this, which currently appears as the google earth's street view feature.

    As well, do you think google didn't get the national security's permission and instead act like an ambitious boy?

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  25. My computer before this one had Google Earth but the hard drive crashed due to something else. On that one, I could go to street level and click on a "bubble" on the steet address and see my house or my friends homes. Now that I downloaded Google Earth on my new computer, it doesn't do that. It only shows the tops and it gets fuzzy the closer I get. Do I want Beta 5.0. There are so many more things to choose from that pops up when I do a search for "Google Earth" but I can't find the one that will take me to street level. Can anyone help?

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  26. Blah Blah, Why whine? Those of you whining about privacy issues blah blah. Do you have any idea how many surveillance cams you end up on? every bank, convince store, school, intersection, Thousands! Most businesses watch you. It's life, don't like it go off grid move to the desert and dig a hole and you can cheat on your spouse in private. GoogleMap/Earth are GREAT. For once, atleast this minor invasion of our privacy is ATLEAST for something useful to us. Not something MEANT to catch you or spy or micro-manage your life. And really the Google van drives through your city at 4pm on some Tuesday... and what... you were on a public street doing what? It doesn't even compare to the constant ongoing surveillance. You act as if it were Live realtime in your bedroom. :P Even streetview shows no more than what ANYONE driving past wouldn't see.

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  27. I was hoping to look at google earth - to see if it caught the
    thieves that broke into my home and took somethings.
    I personally think if you could use this for catching breaking
    and entering - some crimes might not occur.

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  28. Street View is cool!
    There is a site wanting to know about any odd spottings on google earth street view...
    http://google-earthstreetview.blogspot.com/

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  29. I like google Street View。It's very useful for me.
    I also find more funny Google Maps Street View at http://fun-google-streetview.blogspot.com/

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  30. Google street views helps us a lot when planning to travel. Most of the places we may stay at gives us a chance to view the actual places and street layouts. A excellent tool for all as long as it is not used for exploiting someone. however anyone on a public street is at risk of being photographed not only by Google but anyone who wishes to do so.

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  31. Personaly, i think this whole idea is... AWESOME! If i was on goolge earth, I would be so exited! Not embarrased.

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  32. Good work Google. Lets have a lot more streets.

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  33. its a huge invasion of privacy and i want to know how to have my home removed from the phots of my streets map

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  34. Love it, only problem is it keeps me away from doing my housework on my day off! Can't wait for more places to be photographed.

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  35. Great idea. Dropped mother home the other day, and was stood outside talking when she asked 'what's that car doing with that thing on top?'. When I looked, it was the google earth car with its' camera pod on top...(it said google on the side of the car). I was pretty surprised as Mother lives in a little crescent in Plymouth, Devon, UK. This was only last Wednesday, so a bit too soon to see it online, I suppose.

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  36. Does anyone know how to bring up the views that have arrows to maneuver around the streets? I had it at first and now I can't figure out how to do it again. DJKing

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  37. I think street view is really cool, but they should add more Countries with it. For example: Canada...
    :D

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  38. its not a bad idea, the stalker will stalk you without google, the burgler will burgle you without google,its a static picture, by the time the burgler see"s your house on here id like to think youve closed your window!

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  39. who can tell me how these shots were taken. What organization shot them? What equipment was used? Are they updating these photos? When did the shooting start.
    Thanks, guys.
    Jim

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  40. I think the whole thing is out of order I don't want my house on their of my relatives homes on their I worry for my family, my children and my parents, it shows schools, reg no and details of cars and you can look real close into people's gardens, over fences its bad

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  41. What about women and children who have had to move to another area of the country to escaped a violent man? How safe would they be?

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  42. My husband and I can tour great vacation spots and not spend a dime!
    We were very impressed and spent a whole evening viewing awesome places. Then I got curious about the 'old' neighborhood. From the safety of my computer I strolled down areas I hadn't seen in 30 years
    and cried.

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  43. i cant find this thing!

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  44. Fantastic achievement,bravo Google.

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  45. Why does my screen black out in blocks just after I zoom in on something?

    Anon

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  46. i am in a discussion with a friend and he says that all the street views on google earth were taken from a vehicle . and i think they are taken by satelite can someone give me the answer

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  47. Obviously, your friend is right:

    http://maps.google.co.uk/help/maps/streetview/behind-the-scenes.html

    "When Street View first launched, the platform used to capture images was a van.

    Since our launch in 2007, Street View has expanded to include more cities, streets, national parks and even some biking trails. Currently, Street View is available for almost a dozen countries around the world in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Scaling the project to this level required more lightweight and high-quality technology.

    The van was replaced by a car. We have used different vehicles in different regions around the world to collect tens of millions of images."

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  48. which country is next?
    Thank you Google Streets Team for your amazing hard work.

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  49. i think its bad weirdos can see if u have kids by looking in ur back garden and seeing climbing frames!!! dont think its a good idea x

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  50. when will new photos of the street views be on google earth?

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