Go to this link.. http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/help/maps/streetview/. Next, click on the “Try Street View on Google Maps”. Next, type your home address into the ‘search maps’ box. Can you see your house?
Google have been very busy indeed building up the ’street view’ database. They use vehicles like the one of the right seen in Toronto. It is a regular compact sedan which at first sight looks to be set up for underwater duties.
On the top is a housing which contains eight cameras, and there is a GPS box and a rangefinder just underneath. Inside the vehicle is touch screen attached to a computer.
Drivers are brought in, presumably from an agency, not knowing what they will be doing, and are given training on use of the computer and a route. The cameras are rain sensitive, so the drivers are also instructed on folding and covering the camera in the event of bad weather.
I have mixed feelings about all of this. On the one hand, it is amazing to be able to see street views in this way. On the other, I am not so sure that I want a photo of my place in the public domain.
The whole thing was spoiled by the issue of them also collecting Wi-Fi information as they passed each building, which is in my mind a direct breach of privacy.
Would you want to be seen behind the wheel of a Google car? One driver in the UK didn’t. As soon as he realized that his picture was about to be taken on a cell phone camera, he parked up and exited the vehicle smartly
Google cars have been banned in Austria and are coming in for sharp criticism in the UK and Canada. However, UK police are getting ideas about having similar cameras fitted to their patrol cars. You would imagine that they would have less of a profile than the Google cameras, but you would be wrong. Take a look at the photo on the left of a ‘Poogle’ car.